11 Dec 2008

Tagger murder trial jury retires for night

10:04 pm on 11 December 2008

The jury in the trial of a South Auckland man accused of fatally stabbing a teenage tagger has retired for the night.

Bruce Emery is charged with murdering Pihema Cameron, 15, after catching him spray-painting his garage door with graffiti in January.

The Crown says Mr Emery, 50, took the law into his own hands.

The defence maintains he was trying to protect himself, and that Pihema Cameron impaled himself on the knife Mr Emery was holding.

The jury had been deliberating since shortly before midday on Thursday.

They returned to again watch a police interview of Mr Emery, and returned again later to ask how long deliberations should take.

Deliberations will resume on Friday morning.

In his summing up, Justice Williams urged the jury to be dispassionate in its deliberations and explained the difference between murder and manslaughter, and the constraints of self-defence.

Justice Williams told jurors they need to decide whether the accused was indeed at risk and if he used reasonable force.

He asked them to consider the argument of provocation and whether having his property tagged was sufficient reason for Mr Emery to lose his power of self-control.