Man stabbed to death in drugs robbery, says Crown

September 15, 2014 | By More

Rangiora-sign1A Rangiora man was stabbed to death during a drugs robbery gone wrong, the Crown said at the opening of the trial of two men charged with murder.

The Crown alleges one man had the role of luring two low-level drug dealers out of their house, while the second man was hiding in the bushes and armed with a hunting knife.

Prosecutor Anselm Williams told the trial in the High Court at Christchurch that DNA evidence would link one of the men to the knife involved and to a walking stick that one of the robbery victims used to defend himself.

Jason William Baker, 40, of Linwood, and Shaun Robert Murray Innes, 37, of Rakaia, deny joint charges of murdering Tony John Lochhead, and wounding Peter Graham Lochhead with intent to commit aggravated robbery.

The trial before Justice Rachel Dunningham is expected to last two weeks.

Mr Williams said Baker and Innes intended to rob the Lochhead brothers of drugs, guns, and cash when they went to their house in White Street, Rangiora, about 9pm on September 13, 2013.

They had known the Lochheads who were low-level drug dealers, but there had been a falling out over a debt that Baker owed and he was no longer welcome there. On the day of the incident, Baker had taken morphine and Ritalin.

The pair went out “earning” – getting money to buy drugs – and decided they would rob the Lochheads, the Crown said.

Innes went to the door and tried to lure the Lochheads outside into the driveway where they found that Baker was hiding in the bushes beside the house. He had a hunting knife. The Lochheads retreated to the house, with Baker allegedly saying: “I’m going to stab you all over. I’m going to put holes all over both of yous.”

There was a fight at the doorway with Baker trying to force his way in. Peter Lochhead was stabbed several times in the chest, arms, and face, and Tony Lochhead received a neck wound which led to his collapse as he tried to call the police.

Mr Williams said Baker had dropped the knife at the scene when Peter Lochhead struck his hand with a walking stick. DNA testing showed Tony Lochhead’s blood on the knife, and Baker’s DNA on the handle. The walking stick showed DNA from Peter Lochhead and Baker. The Crown said that the pair had made a plan to commit the robbery. Baker had attacked Tony Lochhead with a knife, causing his death.

Innes had been charged as a party. “The Crown says he was a party to murder. As a result, he is as responsible as Baker for what happened that night.”

The Crown will call evidence from 37 witnesses.

Update: Defence counsel for Innes, Michael Knowles, said his client had run away from the scene of the incident before anything happened and had nothing more to do with Baker until after they had been arrested. “He wanted no part in it and took no part in it.”

Counsel for Baker, Gerald Nation, said his client had taken drugs and alcohol and had no memory of what happened that night. He urged the jury to keep an open mind in deciding who held the knife that night, and what was going through their mind at the time.

Category: News

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