Five others found guilty of being accessories to hit-and-run slaying in Manukau carpark
Christopher Shadrock told the jury he didn't see Joanne Wang when he ran over her in a South Auckland supermarket carpark in June 2008.
The jury didn't believe him, and yesterday found the 23-year-old guilty of murdering Mrs Wang during the hit-and-run after her handbag was snatched.
Shadrock, accused of killing Mrs Wang by deliberately running into her, stood trial with five others.
Maka Tuikolovatu, 21, Lionel Tekanawa, 23, Vila Lemanu, 25, Mateni Lynch, 20, and Terence Tere, 22, were found guilty of being accessories to murder by helping Shadrock avoid arrest.
Tuikolovatu is said to have hidden Mrs Wang's handbag, and the other four to have set the four-wheel- drive used in the killing ablaze two days after the killing.
Tuikolovatu and Tekanawa were found not guilty of taking the bag, but Lemanu was found guilty.
Mrs Wang's husband, Jialin Huang, who was in court, nodded in approval as the guilty verdicts were read and also gave a nod to the jury of seven women and five men as they were leaving.
The police Asian liaison officer, Justin Zhang, who accompanied Mr Wang and Mrs Wang's elderly parents in court, said the family did not want to make any comment.
Her 8-year-old son, Edmund, who saw his mother's death, was not in court.
Some of the jury members cried as the verdicts were read.
Mrs Wang, 39, died after struggling to stop her handbag being stolen at the Westfield Shopping Centre in Manukau.
Shadrock had denied murdering Mrs Wang, saying he had not seen her from the stolen vehicle he was driving when he struck her.
In a video of a police interview shown to the jury earlier in court, Shadrock was seen saying: "I didn't mean to hurt that lady - I just wanted the bag."
The defence said Shadrock admitted stealing the handbag but never intended any harm, let alone killing Mrs Wang.
But the Crown alleged the men were a gang of thieves preying on shoppers, and Shadrock tried to steal Mrs Wang's handbag and then to get away when she wouldn't give it up.
The court was told that when his reverse escape route was blocked by a car, Shadrock chose to drive forward and hit Mrs Wang.
He would have seen and heard his victim yelling at him before he chose to accelerate into her.
All six prisoners were remanded in custody for sentencing on July 2.