6 Mar 2018

'He smacked her in the stomach ... pulled the trigger'

7:41 pm on 6 March 2018

A woman who saw her close friend shot dead has described her friend's violent relationship with her boyfriend.

Turiarangi Tai, on trial in the High Court in Auckland for the murder of Chozyn Koroheke.

Turiarangi Tai, on trial in the High Court in Auckland for the murder of Chozyn Koroheke. Photo: RNZ / Laura Tupou

Samantha Douglas gave evidence at the trial of Turiarangi Tai today who's accused of murdering his 22-year-old girlfriend Chozyn Koroheke at their Pakuranga home last April.

Ms Koroheke and Ms Douglas were very close "like sisters", she said on the stand today.

She smiled when she recalled their time together and would regularly glance over at the the public gallery where Chozyn's family were.

Chozyn Koroheke - police hunting for Turiarangi Tai

Chozyn Koroheke Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

Ms Koroheke's parents held hands in the front row while they were present before lunch.

Ms Douglas described how she and her boyfriend, Nacyn - Ms Koroheke's brother, lived with Ms Koroheke and Mr Tai, along with another man.

She told Crown prosecutor Mark Willams, that on 4 April - the day Ms Koroheke died - Mr Tai was showing off a double-barreled shotgun to her and her boyfriend.

"Look at what I've got," she said Mr Tai said, proud of his firearm.

Ms Douglas told the court Ms Koroheke and Mr Tai had a violent relationship that got worse in the week leading up to her death.

She took Ms Koroheke to the hospital after Mr Tai "smashed" her head with a rock about a week before her death, she said.

But she said the day Ms Koroheke died, Ms Koroheke and the accused weren't fighting - he was ignoring her.

She said Mr Tai packed up the car with some of his things and the hair straighteners Ms Douglas had given to Ms Koroheke the night before.

"It's like threatening to leave sort of thing, you know, and she didn't like that and it would upset her," Ms Douglas said.

She said Ms Koroheke yelled to Mr Tai that there was no petrol in the car.

He drove off, but then came back.

Ms Koroheke ran to Ms Douglas's bedroom, she said.

"Straight to me and Nacyn. She said he's coming back in but with a shotgun."

Mr Tai was angry, she said.

He pushed the bedroom door open with the gun.

"He smacked her in the head with the shotgun and then he smacked her in the stomach with it but pulled the trigger."

Ms Douglas said it was all over in seconds.

After the trigger was pulled, she said, she sat there with her fingers in her ears, only able to hear white noise.

"It felt like forever," she said.

She ran out in the pouring rain to use a neighbour's phone and called for an ambulance.

Defence lawyer Peter Kaye put it to Ms Douglas that some of it never happened, such as Mr Tai forcing his way into Ms Douglas's bedroom with the shotgun.

"Everything I say here is true here, I haven't come here to lie today, sir, not about my best friend getting murdered."

When asked if Ms Douglas was "absolutely disgusted" by Mr Tai, she disagreed.

"I've had a lot of time to think. I feel bad. I feel bad for him. We were close and I'm sorry that he did this. I'm sorry that he did this to all of us."

Ms Douglas agreed Mr Tai was in tears saying sorry over and over, and helped Ms Koroheke to the ground after he shot her and performed CPR.

The trial continues tomorrow.