An Auckland man accused of burning his friend to death over his life savings allegedly spent some of the cash on souping up his car just hours after the murder.
Shivneel Kumar, 20, and Bryne Permal, 22, are on trial in the High Court at Auckland charged with the murder of 21-year-old Shalvin Prasad, whose smouldering body was found on a rural South Auckland road on the morning of January 31, 2013.
The previous day, the victim withdrew his life savings of $30,050 -- in $100 and $50 bills -- from a Manukau bank while Kumar waited outside, the Crown says.
Prosecutor Aaron Perkins said Kumar and Mr Prasad had been friends for some time and the murder-accused had borrowed money from him in the past that he had not repaid.
It is alleged Mr Prasad was taken to McRobbie Rd in Kingseat in Permal's mother's car, driven by Kumar.
Once there, the Crown says they doused the victim in petrol and set him alight.
Today the court heard from the manager of car electronics installation company who met Kumar on the afternoon of January 31, only hours after Mr Prasad had been found.
The defendant had brought in his lime green Holden to have two expensive sub woofers installed and while he was there, the manager persuaded him to make several other purchases.
"It seemed quite easy to sell him the gear," the manager said.
According to receipts Kumar also impulsively splashed out on two sets of speakers, a capacitor, amplifiers and even bought the witness' iPod touch off him.
He paid in cash and tipped one of the workers $100 as he left.
"At the time I recall there being quite a lot of cash in the wallet," the manager said, estimating the wad of notes to be as thick as his finger.
Because the installation of the new electronics took some time, Kumar had lunch with the staff, during which he told them he owned a company with his father.
"He explained they were doing quite well ... he said they had just bought a couple of brand new Mercedes," the manager said.
Opening the Crown case Mr Perkins said Kumar was in serious financial difficulty to the extent that his car tyres had been worn down to the metal.
"He had no job and no money in the bank," he said.
A couple of days after the alleged murder, Permal joined Kumar on the spending spree, according to witnesses who gave evidence earlier today.
On February 2, the pair got tattoos together at a Newmarket parlour where each paid $350 for a "geometric, tribal" design on their shoulder and chest.
Tattooist Dave Ansted told the jury they seemed "excited" about getting their first tattoos.
Then with glad wrap covering their fresh artwork, they allegedly went to Papatoetoe where they bought jewellery and watches for $1000 as well as a couple of T-shirts each from a street-wear store.
The trial before Justice Geoffrey Venning and a jury of six women and six men is expected to last a month.