The man who fatally attacked teenager Eli Holtz in Auckland's CBD in January has this morning pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter and can now be named.

And the Herald can reveal that the killer was one of the men charged over the murder of South Auckland liquor store owner Navtej Singh in 2008.

Myron Robert Alf Felise, 30, admitted assaulting 18-year-old Eli Francis Holtz at the intersection of Wellesley St and Queen St early on the morning of Saturday 27 January.

Eli, from Northland, was the passenger in a vehicle that had stopped at a red light.

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Moments before the assault he had pointed a water gun out of the window and fired a jelly-like liquid pellet at Felise.

It hit the older man, who thought he had been shot.

Felise then approached the car when it stopped, opened the door and assualted Eli.

Myron Robert Alf Felise, 30, admitted the manslaughter of 18-year-old Eli Francis Holtz. Photo / Greg Bowker
Myron Robert Alf Felise, 30, admitted the manslaughter of 18-year-old Eli Francis Holtz. Photo / Greg Bowker

He punched the teen repeatedly in the head, while he was still strapped into his car seat and unable to properly defend himself.

The attack only stopped when Felise's friend managed to intervene.

Eli died in hospital the next day, as a result of the injuries inflicted by Felise.

Felise was charged with manslaughter and was due to stand trial in the High Court at Auckland next week.

However he appeared in court today - after sleeping in and arriving at court more than an hour late - and changed his plea to guilty.

Eli Holtz died after being viciously beaten in Auckland's CBD in January. Photograph supplied
Eli Holtz died after being viciously beaten in Auckland's CBD in January. Photograph supplied

Felise has had name suppression since his first appearance in court.

But following his guilty plea Justice Gerard van Bohemen lifted the order, meaning the Herald can now publish Felise's name and dark history.

Around 20 members of Eli's family were in court for this morning's arraignment hearing, where the summary of facts was read.

A video of the fatal incident, captured by CCTV in the CDB, was also provided to the court.

However it will not be screened as Eli's family do not want to see the footage.

Felise will be sentenced on February 28.

He was supported in court by a large number of family.

Eli's mother Kirsten Holtz said outside court that the guilty plea brought an end to 10 months of anguish and grief.

"There are no winners in this tragedy. We've lost our son Eli and the Felise family have lost their son for a season too.

"We want to move forward.... we ask that you all be kind to each other, to look out for each other."

She thanked the police, legal system and Victim Support as well as the thousands of people who had comforted and helped the family since Eli's death.

After court the Holtz family approached the Felise family and gave them hugs.

Felise was 22 when he and six other men were charged with murdering Navtej Singh during a robbery at his Manurewa liquor store on June 7, 2008.

In 2008 Felise was charged alongside his brother Tino Felise, Anitilea Chan Kee, Jason Naseri, Walter McCarthy and Eti Filoa.

He and Naseri followed Chan Kee into the store and stole alcohol and cigarettes while Tino Felise waited in a car outside

Filoa and McCarthy acted as lookouts.

Chan Kee was the gunman, but said he didn't mean to fire the shot that killed Singh.

All of the men were charged with Singh's murder because police said they were party to the killing.

Jason Naseri, left, and Myron Felise at sentencing for their part in the robbery and death of Manurewa liquor store owner, Navtej Singh. NZME photograph
Jason Naseri, left, and Myron Felise at sentencing for their part in the robbery and death of Manurewa liquor store owner, Navtej Singh. NZME photograph

After a trial in the High Court at Auckland only one man was held accountable.

Chan Kee was found guilty of murder.

The other five were found not guilty of murder or manslaughter.

Tino Felise, McCarthy and Filoa were found guilty of aggravated robbery.

The others had earlier pleaded guilty to that charge.

They were sentenced to between six years and four months and two years and six months for their roles in the robbery.

Chan Keen was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non parole period of 17 years.

He appealed that sentenced, but his bid for less time in prison was rejected.

The death of Navtej Singh

Following the Singh trial in 2010 the Herald published this account of the tragic killing.

The night of his murder, Navtej Singh was busy working in his South Auckland liquor shop.

A few streets away his killer was running out of booze during a drinking and marijuana smoking session with friends in a garage.

Anitelea Chan Kee said he wanted the party to continue and hatched a plan to "do a liquor shop" with brothers Myron and Tino Felise, Jason Naseri, and cousins Eti Filoa and Walter McCarthy.

He asked for volunteers to join him.

Navtej Singh was murdered in his liquor store in 2008. Photograph supplied
Navtej Singh was murdered in his liquor store in 2008. Photograph supplied

Armed with a rifle, Chan Kee and the five others piled into two cars.

Navtej and his business partner Gurwinder Singh were watching the clock and looking forward to getting home to their families that night.

They could never have imagined that within minutes one of them would be dead - gunned down in their own store.

Chan Kee, Felise and Naseri piled out of the cars and burst into the liquor shop.

Gurwinder was sitting on the counter, his legs dangling over the side while he talked to Navtej who sat behind the counter on some boxes.

He heard a noise and turned to see the three intruders clad in black.

"One had a gun and the other had empty hands," Gurwinder would later tell the court.

What followed was an outburst of noise and urgent voices barking orders.

He did not understand everything but one thing stuck in his mind: "Give us the money otherwise we'll shoot."

Chan Kee held the gun at chest height while Felise and Naseri took alcohol from the shelves.

Gurwinder begged the men to leave them alone.

Anitilea Chan Kee was found guilty of murdering Navtej Singh. NZME photograph
Anitilea Chan Kee was found guilty of murdering Navtej Singh. NZME photograph

"Please stop, our hands [are up]. We are giving you. We are giving you. Please stop, please stop," he told them.

Stunned, Navtej slowly rose from where he was sitting on the boxes behind the counter and turned towards the till.

Gurwinder said he thought Chan Kee was going to shoot then.

"I thought they were going to pull the trigger or something. They had their finger on the
trigger so I turned around and went out the back."

Navtej stood frozen with his arms up.

The court heard that Chan Kee then lined Navtej up in a "calm and deliberate way" and pulled the trigger.

Chan Kee claimed he fired accidentally under stress.

Mortally wounded, Navtej sank to the ground but still managed to pass the till holding $4000 cash to Chan Kee.

Gurwinder returned to find Navtej behind the counter and the intruders gone.

At first he could not see where Navtej had been shot.

Leaning across him, he took off his shirt and saw a "red spot" on the right side of his chest.

Blood pouring from his wound, Navtej asked his friend to phone an ambulance and his wife.

The six men returned to the garage where their plan had been hatched only a short time before.

As a police helicopter hovered above and sirens blared, they began drinking what they had stolen from Navtej Singh.

As a hard-working father of three's life ended - their party went on.