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THE OMAHU MURDER CASE

WELLINGTON, November 1. la the Oamahu murder case no witnesses were called for the defence. Mr Cottrell addressed the Jury. The Crown asked them in the first place to put aside all questions as to whether the Donnelly or Brough' ton party were the aggressors. He presumed that the defence would be on two lines—firstly, as to provocation; but he thought that it would rest more withthe sympathies than with the intelligence of the jurymen. The second line might be that the prisoner was a Maori of the old school, and a man of hasty temper, who was likely to be greatly irritated by the action of the Donnelly party. He (counsel] quoted cases to show that provocation and hasty tempe* were not allowed as palliatives of murder 1 . It would not do to permit the Natives to» take the law into their own hands without being punishable. No doubt f uranga's party were wroDg in going on to the land and behaving as they did ; but that was no provocation for such a murderous attack as had been made.

Mr Cornford followed for tho defenee, remarking that the evidence for the prosecution was such a terrible mass of contradiction as to lead to the inference that a» great part of it had been wilfully distorted. Truth and fiction had been skilfully woven together to such an extent as to suggest that the witnesses had put their heads together to make a strong case, and thus bring about that which was dearest to the heart of an old Maori— titn, or revengefor past wrongs. Counsel contended that prisoner did not take the pistol with him for the express purpose of shooting. Turanga, but when he met him he lost histemper and fired. He founded a plea of justification for that shot on the disturbances which had arisen in the once peaceful village after the death of Renata Kawepo, and the effect the estrangements had on tho nature of a Maori, As to the second and third shots, Mr Cornford said that Waatariwi never fired them, and, in support of that contention, he pointed to the contradictory nature of the evidence, and the fact that the coat wherer the fatal shot was supposed to have entered was scorched, and the bullet had passed through the body, this almost conclusively showing that a shot was fired during a scuffle, but not by the prisoner. Couiisel suggested that on the spur of the moment Hare (wife of Turanga), who was handling one of the pistols while the men were on the ground, fired and struck her husband instead of Waatariwi.

His Honor then Bummed up. The jury returned at 2.20 with a verdict of "Manslaughter," and recommended tha prisoner to mercy. The Chief Justice passed a sentence of ten years' penal servitude.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18891101.2.14

Bibliographic details

THE OMAHU MURDER CASE, Issue 8053, 1 November 1889

Word Count
473

THE OMAHU MURDER CASE Issue 8053, 1 November 1889

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