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Jury to begin deliberating in murder trial

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017
Lance Murphy © Counties Manakau Police Lance Murphy

A jury is expected to begin deciding on Wednesday whether Michael Joseph Davies murdered his long time friend on a remote hilltop.

Fifty-two-year-old Davies, also known as Michael Waipouri is charged with kidnapping and brutally murdering his friend of 30 years, Lance John Murphy, in Puhoi, north of Auckland, in November 2015.

Davies' co-accused, 38-year-old Steve Gunbie, is charged with helping in the kidnapping and hiding the body.

The Crown says Davies cuffed Mr Murphy and tied a hood over his head before using a baseball bat and tree branch to brutally cave his head in with repeated strikes.

Davies' lawyer called on the jury to convict him of the lesser charge of manslaughter because he had a paranoid personality that led him to believe Mr Murphy was a dangerous enemy.

The Crown also alleged Gunbie co-operated with Davies by driving the car containing the kidnapped Mr Murphy and later hiding his dead body.

Gunbie's lawyer defended his client by saying he never drove the car Mr Murphy was in and only moved his body to help get it off a friend's property.

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