Shocking details of events leading up to the deaths of two people whose bodies were found locked in a toolbox and submerged in a dam have been heard during a Supreme Court murder trial.
- Lelan Harrington told the court the pair were bound and beaten
- Prosecutor David Meredith described a photo of Stou Daniels as central to the trial
- Mr Harrington says he heard the victims “kicking and screaming” from the toolbox
Tuhiranghi-Thomas Tahiata has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Cory Breton and Iuliana Triscaru in January 2016.
The court heard he is one of several people charged in relation to the murders.
Ms Triscaru and Mr Breton were lured to a Kingston unit after Mr Breton told a friend he had a photo of a drug dealer on his phone, the court heard.
Prosecutor David Meredith told the trial the photo of Stou Daniels would be central to the trial.
Mr Breton’s friend Lelan Harrington, who admitted to the court he had been sentenced for deprivation of liberty and assault in relation to his role in the deaths, described how the pair were beaten and stabbed before they were killed.
Mr Harrington said after Ms Triscaru and Mr Breton arrived at the unit on January 24, 2016, they were beaten with a pole by several men.
Mr Harrington said he could see Mr Breton bleeding from his knee and that Ms Triscaru’s hands were bound and “her make-up was smudged from crying”.
He told the court they were ordered to get into the toolbox and lay down.
“I remember when [Ms Triscaru] was trying to stop the lid from closing Stou was slashing at her forearms with the knife that he stabbed Cory with.”
Mr Harrington said he later saw Ms Triscaru out of the box.
“I panicked, ran upstairs and I told them she was getting away. They all ran downstairs and I heard [her] scream,” he said.
He said another man had his hand over Ms Triscaru’s mouth.
Mr Harrington told the court: “They put a zip tie around her hands and feet again and then … grabbed a zip tie and tied it around her neck.
“They picked her up and placed her in the toolbox.
“She was still in there for I don’t know how long until it got to the point where Cory was banging on the toolbox and asking them to cut the zip tie off her neck.”
Mr Harrington told the court the toolbox was loaded into the back of a ute owned by Mr Tahiata and driven to a lagoon.
He said he could still hear the victims “kicking and screaming” from the toolbox.
The trial is expected to run for up to three weeks.