Crown: Shooting motivated by anger

  • 11/04/2016
Crown: Shooting motivated by anger

A woman accused of shooting dead a Lower Hutt man who was in an abusive relationship with her mother was motivated by anger, not self-defence, according to the Crown.

Daryl Kirk, 20, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Adam Watkins at their Taita home in February last year.

The 40-year-old was killed after being shot by Kirk three times, once in the chest, neck and back with a semi-automatic rifle, but she maintains it was in self-defence.

Kirk and her partner Kyle Barnden moved into the house her mother Kelly Kirk shared with Mr Watkins two weeks before the shooting, bringing the rifle used by Kirk with them.

On the night Mr Watkins was killed, the group had friends over when he and Kelly Kirk got into an argument, prompting a guest to intervene.

Mr Watkins responded by grabbing a meat cleaver and telling everyone to leave. He then smashed the windscreen of Mr Barnden's car.

Kirk then ran back into the house - allegedly avoiding Mr Watkins swinging at her with the meat cleaver - and grabbed the rifle.

She fired the gun six times with three of the bullets finding their mark.

The Crown alleges a number of the shots were fired at Mr Watkins as he tried to get away.

Crown lawyer Seamus Woods told the High Court at Wellington yesterday that Kirk was motivated by anger following her mother's mistreatment at the hands of Mr Watkins.

"No one was in immediate danger at the point Ms Kirk elected to go back into the house and arm herself with the rifle," he said.

But Kirk's defence lawyer Mike Antunovic said she was not out of control as the Crown argued, but rather was forced to defend herself from an angry man armed with a lethal weapon.

"Her life was in immediate danger, it's as simple as that," Mr Antunovic said.

"The deceased was attacking her. He was angry and he was out of control."

Both Mr Barnden and Kelly Kirk previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by putting the meat cleaver near Mr Watkins' body, removing bullet casings from the scene and hiding the rifle in a local park.

The trial, scheduled to last two weeks, begun in the High Court at Wellington yesterday, in front of a jury of nine women and three men.