Trial underway for man charged with murder of George Taiaroa

The Crown has presented its opening argument in the trial of 45-year old Quinton Paul Winders, allegedly murdered traffic controller George Taiaroa (67).

The Crown alleges that Winders was the driver of a blue Jeep Cherokee  seen driving away from where George Taiaroa was killed in 2013.

Prosecutor Amanda Gordon says the collective evidence shows that Winders was the driver of the vehicle mentioned and that he also murdered Mr Taiaroa. 

Winders has pled not guilty to the charge of murder.  

There is only one legal issue in the trial of Quinton Paul Winders and that is whether the Crown can prove the accused is the man who shot George Taiaroa.

Defence Lawyer Jonathan Temm says, "The starting position is he is innocent."

Over 100 witnesses will play a role in this trial which is set to last for four weeks.

The jury of five men and seven women will hear in detail how and why Mr Taiaroa died.

Crown prosecutor, Amanda Gordon told the court, “The forensic pathologist Simon Staples will confirm that George Taiaroa was killed by a single gun shot wound that entered his head just below his left eye brow.”

The killing of Mr Taiaroa near Atiamuri shocked New Zealand in 2013. 

The Crown alleges that Winders was the driver of the blue Jeep Cherokee seen in that area during that time.

Defence Lawyer Jonathan Temm told the court, “This man's defence is that he doesn't know Mr Taiaroa, he's never met him, he's never spoken to him he's never had any dealings with him and he has no motive or reason to kill him.” 

The Crown has more witnesses scheduled to give evidence before Justice Kit Toogood tomorrow.