Karori murder victim Rau Tongia already dead when paramedics arrived

By rnz.co.nz and is republished with permission

Paramedics said it was obvious Karori man Rau Tongia had been dead some time when they arrived.

Tongia was killed on Percy Dyett Drive in the early hours of 20 December, 2020. A murder trial is under way in the Wellington High Court over his death, with five women accused of being involved. The Crown alleges Tongia was shot while he slept.

The Crown has begun calling witnesses.

Paramedics from Wellington Free Ambulance said they received a callout around 8am on the morning in question.

One of the first paramedics to respond said he observed that the patient’s jaw was stiff, indicating he had been dead for some time.

Another said his pupils were not reacting to light.

The paramedics also recalled seeing a significant amount of blood on Tongia’s mattress, the left side of his torso and a large wound on his back.

The police officer in charge of securing the scene where Tongia was found, Daniel Scott, said there were visible injuries and blood all over the body.

Scott said particles found in the torso during the postmortem indicated a shotgun had been used to kill Tongia, with shotgun wadding then found.

Environmental Science and Research scientist Dr Helen Poulsen, who examined a blood sample from Tongia’s body found the presence of alcohol, tetrahydrocannabinol and gamma hydroxybutyrate.

The alcohol was well above the legal limit, measuring at 143 milligrams per 100 millilitres. The legal limit is 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres.

Four of the five women accused – Shayde Weston, Breeze Hunt-Weston, Louise Kelly Hume and Pania Waaka – on Monday pleaded not guilty to murder. The fifth defendant was not present due to health reasons.

A man last year was convicted in relation to the Tongia’s death, found guilty possession of a firearm and sentenced to four-and-a-half months’ community detention and 12 months’ intense supervision.

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