A man involved in a fight with Phillip Macpherson just minutes before he died recalled hearing him "pray for his life" while he was repeatedly struck with an axe.
The trial of Rydell Tauapiki Martin, 27, at Hamilton High Court continued today where he is defending a charge of murdering Phillip Macpherson with a wood-splitting axe in Pukemiro on March 1, 2019.
Martin says he's not guilty of murder, but of manslaughter.
He also faces a second charge of assault with an axe against the latest witness, Hanuere Fisher-Williams.
It is being heard by a jury of 10 people after a second juror was discharged of her duties this afternoon.
Hanuere Fisher-Williams told the court what happened that fatal night.
He had been sleeping at home and only rushed out on to the street after being told his younger brother Alazay was being beaten up by two men.
He bumped into Macpherson, who he knew through his neighbour, and they had got into a "bit of a scuffle" when Macpherson told him he should "make him squeal like he had made his dog squeal".
"I wasn't too happy about that. I just flipped," Fisher-Williams said.
Fisher-Williams punched Macpherson, who swung back at him but missed.
He also kicked him, and as the two head-locked each other, they had tripped on the kerb and fell over, Fisher-Williams said.
He recalls being hit on the shoulder by an object and being pulled out by his mum who was trying to stop the fight.
Martin then appeared with the axe and as he crawled away he could hear Macpherson begging him to stop.
"Phillip was praying. Praying for him to stop. I could hear him saying, 'That's enough, that's enough. I've got kids'."
Macpherson was lying on his back with his hands up while Martin swung the axe with force.
Others gathered on the street were also telling Martin to stop – but he didn't, he said.
Fisher-Williams who was in pain from being hit on the shoulder then ran back to his family's Joseph St home.
He doesn't recall what he spoke to Martin about when he visited later than night, but said he seemed "happy".
'He was going to end him'
Alazay Fisher-Williams has told the court how Martin grunted and raised the axe above his head ready to swing it down on to Macpherson with a blow he thought "was going to end him".
Before Martin could make what Alazay Fisher-Williams believed would be a fatal slash, he grabbed the axe off his relative from behind.
Alazay Fisher-Williams said Martin had already been swinging the axe at Macpherson's leg "too many times to count".
Macpherson's hands were up trying to protect himself and was asking him to stop, he said.
But Martin kept swinging the axe at him.
"He [Macpherson] tried to get up. He got up and fell back to the ground. He was probably too weak to get up."
Alazay Fisher-Williams said Martin grunted and raised the axe above his head so he ripped it out of his hand.
"I just wanted it to stop."
His mum then took the axe from him and threw it over the fence into an empty paddock.
Later that night when he saw Martin, he recalls him telling him he had to play for keeps because if he "played for funsies" he might be the one that dies.
Alazay Fisher-Williams had spent the afternoon drinking gin and juice with Martin and was with him when they were approached by Macpherson's friends earlier in the afternoon and later that evening.
He said by the time Macpherson's friends and family were looking for him they were both feeling the effects of the alcohol and had been getting loud and rowdy.
He recalled giving Macpherson's friends - Jonathan Shand and Shane Matangi - their weapons after they had been flipped over the fence so was unsure how the axe got back into Martin's hand.