Murderer admits guilt in the witness box
A COLD-blooded killer who claimed his ex-partner’s bathtub drowning death was part of a suicide pact has pleaded guilty to her murder after a rare witness box confession.
Murat Davsanoglu, 43, waited until two weeks into his murder trial in Victoria’s Supreme Court to drop the bombshell that he “snapped” and murdered Ozlem “Ozzie” Karakoc in Dandenong on July 14 last year.
He had long denied killing the young mother, saying the pair had a pact to take their own lives that night.
But in dramatic scenes in court, the jury was discharged after his confession and he was re-arraigned on a guilty plea.
It came as a shock, but also relief, for Ms Karakoc’s heartbroken family.
“We knew from the start that he did this,” her uncle, Sam Ozerkan, told the Herald Sun. “It has been all lies from the beginning. He treated my niece like rubbish.
“You don’t do that to someone you supposedly love. She did not deserve this. He is as cold as ice. The ice man.”
Mr Ozerkan had only one question for his niece’s killer: “Why did you put my family through all of this pain?”
He said no sentence would bring back his “wonderful” niece: “To me, they should just lock him up and throw away the key.”
He said Ms Karakoc, 34, was a “dedicated mother” who always put others first.
Davsanoglu drowned Ms Karakoc in the bath in a jealous rage as she was engaged to another man, Ozden Gonullu.
He put her body in the boot of his car and drove towards Mildura with a plan to dump her body, but later returned to Melbourne and left her body, wrapped in a blanket, in an empty garage at a Lalor home.
Davsanoglu handed himself in to police three days later, hours after they had issued a missing persons alert for him and Ms Karakoc.
Davsanoglu folded under questioning by prosecutor Diana Piekusis, SC, telling her: “You don’t need to go any further. I just snapped that night and that’s it.”
Ms Piekusis then asked, “you killed her?” to which he replied: “Yes.”
When she pried more, asking if he snapped because of her new relationship with Mr Gonullu and that he thought he was going to lose her, Davsanoglu said: “That is correct, miss, yes.”
Justice Lex Lasry asked: “So there was no suicide pact on that night?”
“Not on that night, no,” Davsanoglu replied.
Moments earlier, he had claimed they had been preparing a suicide pact for five months.
Defence lawyer John Desmond later expressed concerns from Davsanoglu’s family to Justice Lasry that “he is just now going to say anything because he is worn down”.
“He’s just confessed to murder,” Justice Lasry remarked. “That’s a consequence of giving evidence, that’s the risk you take.”
Both Mr Desmond and Justice Lasry said the confession was an “unusual” situation.
Davsanoglu was remanded in custody to reappear for sentencing next year.
Ozlem Karakoc was murdered by her former partner of 18 years, Murat Davsanoglu (right).