One of the youngest defendants ever to be charged with murder in New Zealand will stand trial in Napier today.
Haami Hanara, who was 14 years, two months and one week old at the time of the death of Kelly Donner in Flaxmere on March 4 this year, has begun his defence at the High Court in Napier this morning, accused of murdering Donner.
Steve Manning is leading the prosecution for the crown, alongside Cam Stuart, while Hanara is represented by Eric Forster and Scott Jefferson.
Hanara earlier pleaded not guilty to murdering the 40-year-old.
The teenager was arrested on April 6, just over a month after Donner's death.
Four other teenagers - three males and a female aged between 14 and 16 - have appeared in the Hastings Youth Court in relation to the assault.
They were charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm with another weapon, but only Hanara was charged with murder.
Donner was found seriously injured by a member of the public in a carpark near Flaxmere's Flax Bar and Eatery. He later died at the scene.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks.