Nikki Roper found guilty of murdering Alexis Tovizi
Tuesday 14 May 2013 2:15 p.m.
A jury has found Christchurch man Nikki Roper guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend in 2010.
He has also reportedly been found guilty of a number of other charges, including theft of a car and laptop.
Roper, 24, was on trial in the High Court today in Christchurch, accused of murdering Alexsis Maria Tovizi in December 2010.
The jury retired about 12:25pm after Justice Forrest Miller completed his summary of the trial, Christchurch Court News reported. They deliberated for five hours.
The Crown says Roper, who already had three convictions for choking Ms Tovizi, strangled her using a sleeper hold.
Crown prosecutor Pip Currie said Roper was obsessed with Ms Tovizi and had told a prisoner shortly before being freed that he was going to kill her because she was cheating on him.
Defence counsel Simon Shamy said Ms Tovizi had actually died from a seizure brought on by chronic alcohol misuse.
He said there was limited signs of injury on her, and that the crown theory of a "careful assassin" didn't match up with someone who then did anything he could to link himself to the death.
Roper also denies charges of unlawfully taking Ms Tovizi's car, stealing her laptop, and five charges of dishonestly using her Eftpos card after her death.
3 News / NZN