Two teenage girls have had their charges upgraded to murder in connection with the death of 54-year-old Hamilton man Norman Kingi.
A 15-year-old and 13-year-old appeared in the Hamilton Youth Court today on one count each of murder. The charges had been upgraded from aggravated wounding.
The 15-year-old also faces a charge of unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle.
A 12-year-old is being dealt with through Youth Aid.
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The duo, whose details are suppressed, were represented strongly by family and friends who remained silent throughout their appearances.
Their respective lawyers, Kerry Burroughs and Roger Laybourn, did not apply for bail and Judge Noel Cocurullo remanded the pair in custody to reappear in the High Court at Hamilton on August 15.
Kingi had been walking home from the Frankton Railway Combined Sports Club when he interrupted a group of young people allegedly breaking into a car.
Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said Kingi suffered a fatal wound during an altercation and subsequently died.
Kingi played for the Fairfield United Yellow Bellies over-50 rugby team and was described as a valued member of the Frankton Railway Combined Sports Club.
Tributes on social media described Kingi as a well-known, loving person and sent their thoughts to his partner Vicki Reihana and their family.