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Shot man had drug cocktail in system

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/04/2016
The defendant Daryl Kirk © Fairfax The defendant Daryl Kirk

A man fatally shot by his partner's daughter after he threatened her with a meat cleaver had a cocktail of drugs in his system at the time of his death.

Adam Watkins, 39, died after he was shot by Daryl Kirk three times with a semi-automatic rifle.

Kirk, 20, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Watkins - her mother's partner - at their Taita, Lower Hutt home in February last year, maintaining she shot him in self defence.

Mr Watkins had been threatening and swinging a meat cleaver at guests at the house following a heated argument with the accused's mother, Kelly Kirk.

He had a number of drugs in his system at the time, including methamphetamine, methadone, amphetamine, THB - associated with cannabis, among other substances.

During the episode, Mr Watkins swung the weapon at guests both inside and outside the house and also smashed the windscreen of Kirk's boyfriend - Kyle Barnden - car in the driveway.

In a police interview Kirk said she thought Mr Watkins was going for the gun, which was brought into the house when she and Mr Barnden moved in.

"I ran up the front door step, pushed him to the side and went and got it before him," she said during the interview shown in the High Court at Wellington on Thursday.

She said Mr Watkins - still wielding the cleaver - followed her into her bedroom after she pushed past him and trapped her in the room.

"I screamed 'get out' and he didn't. I screamed out 'help' and no one came. Then Adam swung the axe towards my face."

Earlier, witnesses recalled that Kirk said she had only wanted to scare Mr Watkins, and shot at his feet but he continued to advance with the cleaver.

She fired the gun six times with three bullets hitting him.

Firearm expert Robert Ngamoki said the gun was not unusually sensitive and had a trigger pressure that was well within legal boundaries, while the safety mechanism was also fully functional.

Mr Watkins was shot in the chest, the neck and the back, with that shot coming via a ricochet from a door frame, before Kirk dropped the gun and ran off down the street.

He died in the driveway shortly after.

Kirk slept at family friend Maureen Allcock's home after Mr Watkins was killed, but was so traumatised that she was not able to tell her what had happened until the next day.

"I couldn't get anything out of her, she was standing there shocked," Ms Allcock said.
"She kept saying it was an accident, it was an accident."

The High Court heard Mr Watkins had a history of being physically abusive to his partner and had also previously attacked Kirk.

Jurors also heard about Mr Watkins' recent criminal history which included two violent attacks.

The trial continues.

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