A Dunedin doctor accused of murdering a teenage girl checked news websites repeatedly following the incident and allegedly said he hoped she was dead.
"No one could survive that," Venod Skantha, 32, reportedly said after allegedly stabbing 16-year-old Amber-Rose Rush to death in the bedroom of her Corstorphine home.
He is on trial before the High Court at Dunedin where yesterday the Crown's key witness — a teenage boy who drove Skantha to and from the scene — told the jury about the night of February 2 last year.
He recalled seeing Amber-Rose posting a screenshot on Instagram that evening showing a heated exchange with the defendant in which she accused him of molesting young people.
The Crown said once Skantha had been shown the post by his teenage friend, his murderous intent took root.
The teenage boy — who cannot be named because of his age — told police the doctor picked him up and had him drive to the victim's home.
Skantha was wearing dark clothes, a hat and gloves, the witness said.
He looked "focused, you know, but chill". Skantha allegedly told his friend he had "a master plan".
"Literally I just thought he was going to go in and yell at her," the teenager said. "I felt a little bit weird but I thought Vinny's not the type to abuse women."
He told the jury that after being told to park around the corner from the Rush house, he called a friend to chat.
He mentioned being an accomplice to murder but said that he was simply being dramatic. "I do over-exaggerate a lot," the boy said.
He called murder a "one-man job" and stressed he could never have known what was going on inside the house. "I didn't think my best friend was going to murder my other friend in cold blood," he said.
However, when Skantha returned a few minutes later, he said he realised there was a problem when the man asked him to open his door and attach his seatbelt for him.
"I looked down and I could see him holding Amber's phone ... I could see Amber's face on the [driver's] licence; it was covered in blood," he said. "I saw the knife, clear as day."
The pair allegedly drove to Blackhead Quarry where they disposed of the phone before heading to Skantha's home where the clean-up began.
The boy told the police he deliberately left a blood spot on the doctor's grey suede shoe and indicated where officers would find it.
Likewise, he said he did a sloppy job of cleaning other areas so there would be a trail of evidence police could follow.
While Skantha put his bloody clothes into a bag, he allegedly confessed to the murder.
After that, the duo drove to the defendant's ex-girlfriend's house in Balclutha where it is alleged Skantha burned his clothes as well as Amber-Rose's driver's licence in a large plant pot he bought from The Warehouse. Otago Daily Times