18 Sep 2013

Jury retires in Lower Hutt stabbing case

5:17 pm on 18 September 2013

A jury has retired to consider its verdict at the trial of a woman accused of fatally stabbing her partner at their Lower Hutt home.

Jessica Keefe, 30, is before the High Court in Wellington, charged with murdering Mongrel Mob member Sean Verma, in January.

Crown prosecutor Dale La Hood told the jury the question it must answer is did Jessica Keefe commit a crime when she stabbed Sean Verma in the chest.

He said while the relationship was an abusive one, she chose to grab a large kitchen knife and stab her partner, when there were other ways of responding.

Defence lawyer Donald Stevens said Ms Keefe was acting in self-defence and she had already been punched on five separate occasions by Sean Verma on the day he died.

He said been she had beaten violently many times in the three year relationship.

Justice Collins said it was up to the Crown to prove Jessica Keefe wasn't acting in self-defence.