Amber-Rose Rush murder trial: Accused found guilty of murder, threatening to kill

The 32-year-old doctor accused of murdering Dunedin girl Amber-Rose Rush has been found guilty of murder.

Venod Skantha has been on trial in the Dunedin High Court for the past three weeks before a jury of two women and 10 men who presented their verdict on Wednesday.

Amber-Rose, 16, was found dead in her bed on February 18 last year. The Crown had alleged that she was murdered by Skantha, who was known to her.

The family of Amber-Rose meanwhile paid tribute to her on social media and spoke of their heartbreak.

Skantha made his first appearance in the Dunedin District Court on May 2, 2018, and was at first granted interim name suppression.

During the following months, Skantha would plead not-guilty and name suppression would lift.
His trial eventually began on November 4, originally set down for four weeks.

The Crown alleged that Skantha told a teen witness to drive to Amber-Rose's house on the night she was killed before the doctor went inside and cut her throat.

It was the defence's argument that Amber-Rose was killed by an intruder who was not Skantha.
On Wednesday the jury found Skantha guilty of the murder of Amber-Rose Rush.

He has also been found guilty of four charges of threatening to kill.