A jury has begun its deliberations as to whether two men are guilty of the murder of Raymond and James Fleet.

Justice Sally Fitzgerald finished her summing up of the case in the Rotorua High Court before sending them out at 12.55pm today.

Zen Pulemoana, 27, and Mikaere James Hura, 21, each deny charges of murdering Raymond Fleet and his nephew James Fleet at Mamaku on August 8, last year.

The Crown has submitted that the pair's deaths were the result of a methamphetamine cook-up that went sour, resulting in the death of Raymond Fleet. The Crown alleges James Fleet was killed because he had seen what had happened to his uncle.


The accused, through their respective defence counsels, claim they were powerless to do anything and it was a third man, Martin Hone, who has already pleaded guilty to both murders, that carried out all the violence.

A fourth man, Richard Te Kani, has also admitted charges of manslaughter.

Justice Fitzgerald told the 11-person jury they had evidence of 32 witnesses to sift through and urged them to put aside feelings of sympathy and prejudice for either the accused or the victims.

They had to be satisfied that the pair had murderous, or reckless, intent. Alternatively, they could be guilty as a party to the murder by assisting or encouraging the acts that lead to the victim's death.

They also had to determine how each of the victim's died. In Raymond Fleet's case, was it the crushing injury by being run over by the Isuzu Bighorn and whether it was Hura behind the wheel.

As for James Fleet, the pair are charged as parties to murder, so they had to be satisfied the pair knew their acts assisted or encouraged the shovel attack to his head that killed him.

Both Hura and Pulemoana accepted they were at the scene of the killing on Cecil Rd, however it was up to the jury to decide as to why they were there and what involvement they had, she said.

The Crown had submitted that the pair knew exactly what was going to happen that night and the mere fact they were there meant they couldn't escape and Hone could carry out his attacks.


She said it was the prosecution's submission that it was Hura who drove the Toyota Bighorn over Raymond Fleet's head.

But the defence had said the pair were following the orders given out by Te Kani and Hone, and became scared once the killings unfolded.

They painted a picture of a crazed Hone who was "out of control" and high on methamphetamine on the night and became enraged when Raymond Fleet tried to fight back.

Harry Edward, acting for Hura, said there were was no evidence to prove his client was involved in Raymond Fleet's death either by using the shovel or the vehicle.

Max Simpkins, lawyer for Pulemoana, said it was a clear case, for his client, of "mere presence only", which was not enough to find them guilty of murder or manslaughter.

She also went over expert evidence, including from pathologist Dr Simon Stables who examined both bodies.

He found Raymond Fleet was likely still alive and facing upwards when the Bighorn was driven over his face. He had also survived an earlier assault with a weapon, likely to be a spade, but the latter crushing injury was the likely cause of death.

James Fleet died from a laceration to the back of the head so deep that it split the skull and penetrated his brain, one of many lacerations discovered on his head.

That wound was likely caused by a chop, consistent with the edge of a shovel or blade.

When analysing witness evidence, she told the jury consider their credibility – honesty and sincerity – and reliability, could their honesty be mistaken.

Hura faced four charges, the additional two being charges of intentionally possessing materials to manufacture methamphetamine and possessing equipment to do so.

Pulemoana denied both the murder charge and the manslaughter alternative.

Earlier in the trial, Justice Fitzgerald dismissed a charge against Hura of intentionally possessing a precursor to manufacturing methamphetamine.