Man charged with murder over Gisborne birthday party brawl deaths

  • 20/05/2024

Police have laid murder charges after two people died at a whānau birthday celebration in Gisborne in March.

Detective Inspector David de Lange on Monday said two men who had previously been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm now face additional charges.

A 29-year-old Gisborne man has now been charged with two counts of murder relating to the deaths of Chrysler Stevens-Mark who was celebrating his 21st birthday and his 30-year-old cousin Kane Te Paa.

The 29-year-old has also been charged with two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm relating to two other men at the party. 

A 26-year-old Gisborne man has also been charged with four counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm relating to the four men assaulted at the Lytton Road party, including the two deceased.

These new charges have been laid in the Gisborne Registry and details of court appearances are to be confirmed.

The fatal party took place on March 24.

Police at the time said the event was disrupted by uninvited guests who arrived at the party shortly before the incident began.

Police and the armed offenders squad arrived at the scene and broke up a fight. Staff failed to resuscitate the two men who died, while three others were taken to hospital with injuries.

"This has a very complex investigation, and our investigation team members have worked hard to get answers for the grieving whānau and friends, and the wider community," Insp de Lange said on Monday.

"Police liaison officers continue to support the whānau of the deceased and the victims recovering from their injuries.

"We are appreciative of the assistance we've received from our colleagues in other police districts as the investigation has progressed, and for assistance provided by people who were at the birthday party and who came forward with information."