A panel of three judges has reserved its decision over an appeal against the length of the minimum jail term imposed for the murder of an Auckland woman in 2001.
The body of Marie Jamieson, 23, was found behind a factory in west Auckland nine days after she went missing.
Joseph Reekers was arrested in 2008 after advances in DNA sampling linked him to the killing. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to murder.
Reekers has denied slitting her throat - as stated by police and mentioned during sentencing by a judge.
At the Court of Appeal in Auckland on Monday, defence lawyer Howard Lawry said the length of his client's prison term was based on Reekers cutting Ms Jamieson's throat, but the Crown never proved that happened.
Mr Lawry said police got that information from a prisoner and it was not supported by the post-mortem.
He said Reekers admitted stabbing Ms Jamieson three times, but is adamant that he did not cut her throat.
The defence said the judge had placed no particular weight on the throat-slitting accusation when deciding Reekers' sentence.
In response, the Crown said the judge had placed no particular weight on the throat-slitting allegation when deciding Reekers' sentence.
Reekers has already successfully objected to one appeal against his sentence because the judge hearing the appeal was known to him.
Justice Harrison had represented Reekers on rape and indecency charges 32 years earlier.