Quinton Winders, the man accused of killing road worker George Taiaroa, has been found guilty of murder. The Winders family yelled "we love you" as he left the witness box.
The jury has just returned its verdict after hearing from more than 130 witnesses over a four-and-a-half week High Court trial.
Members of the Taiaroa family were in tears as the guilty verdict was given.
Mr Taiaroa was controlling traffic with a stop-go sign in Atiamuri on March 19, 2013, when he was shot in the head at close range. Witnesses say he was coaxed towards the passenger window of a blue Jeep Cherokee before he collapsed to the ground.
Mr Taiaroa's family have always said the father of four hated conflict and was loved and respected by both his family and work colleagues.
His killing shocked New Zealand and sparked a massive police investigation which culminated in Winders' arrest in November, 2015.
The 45 year-old lived in a shed on steep hill country in Whangamomona at the time of the killing. The well-educated contractor is from a respected deer-farming family in Rotorua.
During the trial, the Crown said the catalyst for the killing was a minor collision at roadworks controlled by Mr Taiaroa a week before the killing. Winders and his father Max were involved in the crash.
The Crown says Winders was identified by a witness speeding from the scene of the killing at Tram Rd in Atiamuri, driving a blue Jeep Cherokee.
But the defendant's lawyers said Winders had no reason to kill Mr Taiaroa, there was uncertainty about the colour of the jeep seen fleeing the scene, and that police became fixated on him as their main suspect too early.
The police never located the murder weapon, nor did they find any DNA evidence linking Winders to the crime. The case the Crown presented to the High Court was circumstantial - it said multiple strands of evidence pointed to Winders as the man who pulled the trigger.
Winders and his father Max were towing a stock trailer through road works a week before the killing when they overshot Mr Taiaroa's stop-go sign. They had to reverse up, and ended up hitting a blue Ford Telstar causing minor damage to that car.
Passengers in the Telstar said there was a general agreement that Mr Taiaroa hadn't been doing his job properly - that his sign was not clearly visible.
During a videoed police interview with Winders, he agreed that Mr Taiaroa had been "sloppy" but told police the incident itself was not a major concern to him or his father.
However, when the owner of the Telstar tried to call Max Winders to arrange repairs to his vehicle, he said he had difficulty getting hold of Max and felt like he was being "fobbed off" despite calling on six or seven different occasions.
In early April 2013, police searched the Winders family home and found a handwritten note, which the Crown says was written by Quinton.
The Crown claimed the note was a set of instructions for his mother to read out if anyone called up asking up the collision.
The note read: "[You] must have wrong name because we like don't know anything about it. We did have a trailer but that went missing a while back."
The next sentence then had the words "probably stolen" scribbled out. The note finished by saying, "Sorry, we can't help you."
The Court heard however that Max Winders did end up getting in contact with the owner of the Ford Telstar and his insurance company paid for the repairs in full. The bill for the Telstar repairs was $989.58.
The defence claimed that the killing could have been a case of mistaken identity.
During the trial, it was revealed that the other stop-go worker on duty with Mr Taiaroa on the day of the killing, Michael Pengelly, had exposed himself to a five-year-old related to a Mongrel Mob member.
The court heard that in the weeks before the killing, two gang members turned up at his house in Mangakino. Mr Pengelly told the court however that he was not worried about the unscheduled visit.
The weapon that fired the fatal shot was never located by police. But ballistics experts from New South Wales were able to analyse a bullet fragment removed from Mr Taiaroa's head. Given the distinctive grooves on the fragment, they were able to match it to a particular type of rifle.
Experts were able to link the fragment to a Winchester Cooee Model 29 bolt action rifle.
Winders was registered as owning a .22 Winchester, but told police that firearm and another .22 were stolen in 2009.
This fragment, the Crown claimed, provided proof that the bullet fired was likely to have come from a rifle owned by the accused.