A Hamilton jury has found two of three men guilty of causing the death of a Taupo man.

Cody Griffin, 25, Whakapumautanga "Cookie" Clarke, 25, and Daniel Chase, 22, each denied charges of murder and the aggravated robbery of Scott John Henry's backpack, which contained drugs and cash, after going to his Kinloch home on July 20, last year.

The jury today returned mixed verdicts for the accused at 1.40pm after more than 12 hours of deliberations which began late on Thursday afternoon.

In front of a public gallery with members of both the accuseds' and victim's families, who all remained quiet while the verdicts were read, the foreman of the jury announced Clarke guilty of murder and aggravated robbery.


Griffin was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter and guilty of aggravated robbery.

Chase was found not guilty of both murder and manslaughter but guilty of aggravated robbery.

Asked outside court how their clients were feeling, Chase's lawyer Bill Lawson said he was still taking it all in.

Max Simpkins, for Clarke, said he was upset not only for himself but also the victim's family who he had sympathy for.

Griffin's lawyer John Munro said although his client was pleased with the result he felt sorry for his friend, Clarke.

He praised the jury for being so methodical.

"I think they did a careful analysis of everything."

Members of Henry's family declined to comment.


The Crown argued the three hatched a plan to go to Henry's Whangamata Rd property for drugs and cash.

After arriving they confronted Henry's partner, Kylie Hartley, as she exited the outdoor toilet before Henry came around the corner holding a flashlight.

He was shot by Clarke seconds later in an act he claimed was an "accident".

Crown prosecutor Amanda Gordon submitted that as all three agreed with the plan to go to Henry's property for drugs and cash armed with a loaded shotgun, they were all guilty of the repercussions - Henry being shot dead.

Griffin's lawyer, John Munro, had argued they went to Henry's house simply to "shake the money tree", and that they had formed a "low-level, insignificant plan, done on the hoof".

Munro and Chase's lawyer, Bill Lawson, denied charges of both murder and manslaughter. All three defence counsels left it up to the jury to decide the verdicts on the aggravated robbery charge.

The trio were convicted by Justice Sarah Katz.

She also issued Clarke and Chase first strike warnings, as the charges were qualifying violence offences.

Griffin was issued a second strike warning as it's not the first time before the courts for being involved in a shooting.

He was jailed for five years in 2011 after admitting being the shooter in a drive-by shooting in Taupo.

The 17-year-old victim was shot in the abdomen as he and a friend walked to the shops.

Griffin, Clarke and Chase were all remanded in custody for sentencing in October.