Murder accused's cousin gives evidence

6:06 pm on 4 August 2015

A teenager says he made a "stupid decision" when he walked up to a group of Head Hunter associates and kicked one of them in the head, sparking a fatal street brawl.

Connor Morris

Connor Morris Photo: Facebook

Trevor Morunga gave evidence today in the High Court in Auckland, where his cousin Michael Thrift Murray is on trial for the murder of Head Hunters associate Connor Morris.

Mr Morunga told Crown prosecutor Sam McMullan he had been at his brother's 21st birthday party and was pretty drunk when he spotted a group of strangers walking down the road.

"I went up to go shake his hand, and that's when I kicked him, and that's what started the whole fight."

Mr McMullan asked Mr Morunga why he kicked the man.

Mr Morunga answered: "I don't know, just being an egg, just being an idiot. I just made a stupid decision."

He said one of the men ran off, saying he was going to come back with a group from the 88s, a reference to the Head Hunters (with each 'H' the eighth letter of the alphabet).

Mr Morunga said when the fight got underway, he saw Mr Murray with something he described as a stick.

"I seen he had a weapon ... He had used it on someone. I think he was trying to protect his brother, or something."

Mr Morunga described seeing Mr Morris on the ground, and said he appeared to have been knocked out.

Two other witnesses describe fight

Today, the court heard from two other partygoers who also witnessed the fight.

Shamus Wira was drinking from a vodka bottle, and had also drunk more than a box of 18 bottles of bourbon and cola pre-mix.

He said his cousin, Mr Morunga, was being a drunken clown.

Mr Wira said he was the eldest and it fell to him to give Mr Morunga what he called a twack.

He said the 21st party was broken up because of fighting, and the group were standing on Don Buck Drive talking and drinking.

He said shortly after Mr Morunga kicked one of the strangers, carloads of men turned up and he was involved in a fight with four men.

Under cross-examination from Mr Murray's lawyer Marie Dyhrberg QC, Mr Wira confirmed he was knocked to the ground a few times and knew he was outnumbered.

The court also heard from Mr Wira's girlfriend, Luya Karia'uria, who had walked off to get a pie and top up her phone because she was bored standing around on the road.

She said when she came back the fight had broken out and a Head Hunter was standing near her car photographing the number plate.

She said she was worried something would happen to her car.

Ms Karia'uria said she told the gang member she had nothing to do with what happened and drove off.

She said she tried to get Mr Wira to come with her but he kept fighting and got pepper-sprayed by the police before being arrested.

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