Guilty verdict in Connor Morris murder trial

5:44 pm on 14 August 2015

A West Auckland man has been found guilty of murdering a prominent gang member's son.

Connor Morris's family reacts to the jury finding Michael Murray guilty of his murder on 14 August 2015.

Connor Morris's family reacts to the jury finding Michael Murray guilty of his murder. Photo: RNZ / Kate Newton

Michael Murray has been found guilty of the murder of Connor Morris, after he killed him by whacking a sickle at the back of his neck.

The jury reached its verdict a short time ago after four hours of deliberation.

Family members of Mr Morris could be heard hugged and kissed as the verdict was delivered.

As Justice Wylie thanked the jury for their work, a member of the public gallery yelled out thank you on behalf of the family, and told Murray his day would come.

Outside court supporters said they were very happy with the verdict and it was justice for Connor.

Murray will be sentenced on September 11.

Murray, 34, was charged with the murder of Connor Morris, who died after he was hit with a sickle in a street fight in west Auckland just over a year ago.

Murray had argued he was defending his younger brother who was being attacked, when he struck Mr Morris with a sickle.

Summing up the case in the High Court in Auckland this morning, Justice Wylie explained that self-defence can be the exception to the rule that members of the public cannot take the law into their own hands.

He also said some situations were so violent that such force might reasonably be self-defence, but in other situations only a push or punch might have been reasonable.

He reminded the jury it was up to them to determine what was reasonable.

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