Vincent Skeen murder trial jury deliberations continue

  • 04/09/2015

Jury deliberations in the trial of a 17-year-old accused of murdering promising league player Luke Tipene are spilling over into a second day.

Vincent Skeen is accused of killing Mr Tipene, also 17, using a broken glass bottle during a street brawl in Auckland's Grey Lynn last November.

The six men and six women of the jury were unable to reach a verdict yesterday after six hours of discussion.

They will resume in the High Court at Auckland this morning.

It is not disputed Skeen caused Mr Tipene's death by stabbing him in the neck, slicing his jugular vein and larynx.

But the defence says Skeen is guilty of manslaughter, not murder, and had no intention of killing anyone when he quickly grabbed a bottle and swung once.

The Crown claims Mr Tipene was trying to back away from Skeen, who they say looked for a weapon during the fight, swung repeatedly and totally disregarded the predictable outcome of his actions.

Mr Tipene was a promising rugby league player, playing in the national under 16s team in 2013 and captaining the Akarana Falcons who won a national under-17s competition in 2014.

He was named the Auckland Rugby League's under-17 player of the year and was part of the New Zealand Warriors' development programme.

The trial is ending its second week.