Two scenarios put forward
A minor traffic accident that sparked a killing - or a Mongrel Mob hit gone wrong?
Two competing theories for the murder of stop-go worker George Taiaroa have been put forward during the first week of the murder trial of Quinton Winders.
Crown lawyer Amanda Gordon has alleged Winders, who has maintained his innocence throughout, fired the fatal shot a week after being involved in a minor traffic accident which he blamed Taiaroa for.
Winders lawyer Jonathan Temm, however, raised the spectre of a mob hit gone wrong after revealing Taiaroa’s fellow stop-go worker on the day of the murder, Michael Pengelly, had been threatened by Mongrel Mob members after being convicted of exposing himself to a young girl - the relative of a Mob member.
The mystery killing of Taiaroa shocked the nation in 2013 when he was gunned down while working on a one-lane bridge at Atiamuri, 30km south of Tokoroa.
The trial, at the High Court in Rotorua, has now entered it’s seventh day with the jury on Tuesday visiting the murder scene.
Last week during her opening statement on Monday, Gordon divulged some of the events leading up to that day – including a minor traffic accident at the scene a week earlier.
It involved Winders and his father, Max, backing into another car, causing minor damage to their car.
A witness said ‘‘if the stop-go guy had been doing his job properly, the accident wouldn’t have occurred’’, Gordon said.
However, on day three of the trial while cross examining Pengelly, Temm revealed the possibility the killing was a revenge hit gone wrong.
Temm revealed to the jury that Pengelly was convicted in 2012 for exposing himself to a young girl who had relations in the Mongrel Mob.
He also said Pengelly was later visited by two Mob members who threatened him and told him they’d be back.
‘‘And when George was shot it was shocking to you and you said that ‘could have been me’.’’