Teen girls face murder charge
Two teenage girls accused over the fatal stabbing of Hamilton man Norman Kingi have now been charged with murder.
The pair, aged 13 and 15, appeared in Hamilton Youth Court on Wednesday where charges of aggravated wounding were withdrawn and replaced with one count each of murder.
The 15-year-old also faces an additional charge of unlawful interference with a motor vehicle.
Both girls have been in custody since they first appeared in court on Saturday.
Judge Noel Cocurullo remanded the pair, who can’t be identified, in custody to a youth justice facility to reappear in the High Court at Hamilton on August 15.
A large contingent associated with the accused turned out to the court appearance, packing both the downstairs and upstairs public gallery of the courtroom.
Police said earlier 54 year old Kingi had disturbed a group of youths breaking into a vehicle on Ranui St in Dinsdale about 11.30pm on Friday.
They allege an altercation took place during which time the Hamilton father suffered critical injuries. Kingi was given immediate help and rushed to Waikato Hospital where he died just after midnight.
There had been a party in the area with a number of young people attending, police said earlier.
They were also looking for anyone who had contact with a group of three girls wearing dark clothing and walking together around the Dinsdale and Nawton area on Friday evening.
A 12-year-old was also arrested over the incident and referred to Youth Aid.
Kingi was farewelled at a tangi on the Hia Kaitupeka Marae near Taumarunui on Tuesday.
An avid rugby player, Kingi played centre for the Fairfield United Yellow Bellies over-50 rugby team
Club member John Cruickshank earlier described him as a ‘‘good family man’’.
‘‘He was a good club man. He was a gentleman, but would also call a spade a spade. He was a very popular person at the club.
‘‘He would give the shirt off his back to people.’’
Kingi was walking home from the Frankton Railway Combined Sports Club at the time.