"It wasn't me who murdered them," Mikaere Hura told a detective interviewing him about the deaths of Raymond and James Fleet at Mamaku on August 7 last year.
After initially claiming his only involvement in the dual killings had been hiding their bodies, Hura admitted he'd seen them getting beatings.
The admission was made during a DVD interview almost two months after the Fleets' deaths on August 7 last year.
He is on trial with Zen Pulemoana, 27. Both are charged with murdering the Fleets at Mamaku on August 7 last year and jointly charged with Martin Hone who has admitted murdering the uncle and nephew.
A fourth man, Richard Te Kani, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges relating to both Fleets and been convicted.
Hura's acknowledgement of seeing the beatings came after Detective Patrick Whitiora gave him an opportunity to rethink what he'd said earlier, inviting him to take some weight off his shoulders. He told him he was carrying a big burden.
At first Hura was reluctant to speak further saying he was fearful for his family who he wanted to protect from "them". He agreed "them" was the Mangu Kaha gang.
He subsequently admitted he'd run errands for a group cooking methamphetamine at Darius Fleet's Mamaku home.
This included shopping for caustic soda. He was insistent he hadn't been allowed into the house where the "cook" was taking place.
Those involved were Hone, Te Kani, Raymond and Darius Fleet plus another man he didn't know.
Describing the day Raymond and James Fleet died, Hura said he'd been in a van out in the bush when he saw Raymond Fleet getting a beating in another vehicle.
"All of a sudden the whole car was shaking, Marty [Hone] ripped Ray out, he was bashing him up punching, kicking, stomping, smashing his head on the ground, trying to drown him in a puddle. . . . I could hear a whacking noise it was like a pole hitting into something, making a dong noise."
He had seen Raymond Fleet attempting to fight back.
Hura told the detective Hone appeared to be like a "fried" person, really high on chemicals, screaming and yelling.
"I was scared," Hura confessed.
Hone had come to the van ordering James Fleet out yelling "it's your turn now".
"He asked which one of us was going to do it. I said 'no', he was screaming 'this is a prospect's job, you fullas should be doing it'."
He described Te Kani telling Hone to cut it out before taking off with another man present while the beatings were being administered.
Hura claimed Hone forced the Fleets into the vehicle he (Hura) was in. James Fleet appeared to be having problems breathing.
Questioned by the detective, he denied seeing anyone getting "runned' [sic] over but went on to concede Hone had run over Raymond Fleet.
"I was thinking 'is that what I've got myself into by joining the gang?'"
When he'd been taken back that evening to where the Fleets' bodies lay, he admitted moving them further into the bush but not covering or burying them.
Asked about Raymond Fleet's blood being found under the vehicle he'd been run over with, the defendant was adamant Hone hadn't forced him to run over either man.
Hura has also denied three methamphetamine-related charges.
The DVD evidence will continue to be played to the jury when the trial resumes on Monday.