Exactly why Jason Wiremu Poihipi flew into a violent, jealous rage, punching and kicking his pregnant partner Lynace Parakuka, may never be known.
During three days of evidence given in the High Court at Rotorua this week the jury heard a number of reasons advanced.
In one police interview recorded on DVD Poihipi, 19, said Parakuka had told him she'd been injured when she was beaten up by a group of girls, the jury also heard Poihipi claimed she said the "n*****s" did it to her.
In a second DVD interview, he admitted he had hit her four or five times and kicked her in the middle of her face as she fell to the ground.
"I didn't know she was going to die," he told detective Mahara Alcock through tears.
However Crown prosecutor Duncan McWilliam argued Poihipi had shown no genuine remorse.
Evidence was heard that Poihipi claimed his partner had a run-in with the Black Power a few days before her death because she was wearing a red hat – Mongrel Mob colours.
He also talked of having his own brush with the gang during which a shot was fired. No evidence was produced relating to this.
Relating to the beating Parakuka received, Poihipi told the detective he'd become enraged after seeing her through a lit window having sex with another man.
However, the Crown prosecutor Duncan McWilliam read a statement from the couple who lived in the house Poihipi pointed out. In it, they said they were home alone that night and it was they who were having sex.
Regardless of the reasons for her beating, Lynace Parakuka, three years Poihipi's senior, died in a field at St Michael's School in Western Heights where he admitted he'd taken her after finding her at the corner of Clayton and May Rds on September 7 last year.
He claimed to have drunk 18 cans of Cody's before giving her the hiding that led to her death.
After sitting near Parakuka's inert body for 20 minutes or so listening to her heavy breathing which he described a turning to "snoring", Poihipi ran to get help from his cousin.
When they returned to the field Parakuka wasn't breathing, the cousin administered CPR under the direction of a 111 call dispatcher until emergency services took over but after 20 minutes she was declared dead.
Despite his claims of only hitting her four or five times and kicking her in the face once, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Parakuka's body uncovered evidence indicating she'd been punched in the head between 11 and 20 times, maybe even more.
His examination revealed she'd died from bleeding to the brain inflicted by blunt force injuries which could have been caused by a piece of wood, a hammer or a hand.
He also found she was in her first trimester of pregnancy.
Poihipi's sister told the court their family home was the scene of daily domestic violence with their mother receiving regular beatings which were witnessed by her children. When she was knocked down she would get up again.
In his address to the jury Poihipi's lawyer Roger Gowing said this could have influenced Poihipi, leading him to think Parakuka was faking when she didn't get up off the ground after she was attacked.
The defence contended the case was one of manslaughter because Poihipi hadn't intended to kill Parakuka, the Crown argued that it was outright murder.
After deliberating for five hours the 11 person jury agreed with the Crown by a majority verdict of 10 to 1.
Justice Ian Gault remanded Poihipi to remain behind bars and appear for sentencing on November 22.