A woman, who stabbed a guest to death at an Auckland nail and eyelash party, is now waiting as a jury decides her fate.
Anna Eiao Browne, 37, is accused of stabbing Carly Stewart in a Te Atatu home last October and is standing trial in the High Court at Auckland charged with her murder. She has pleaded not guilty.
Ms Stewart died from uncontrollable blood loss 15 minutes after paramedics arrived.
Today, the jury of nine women and three men retired to begin deliberating their verdict.
Earlier, Justice Edwin Wylie told the jury members he suspected
they should have no difficulty deciding whether Browne stabbed and killed Ms Stewart or not,
and so was guilty of at least manslaughter.
This was because both prosecutors and Browne’s lawyers had agreed she killed Ms Stewart, he said.
A key to the trial, however, was whether Browne was guilty or not of the more serious charge of murder, he said.
The Crown had argued Brown was guilty of murder because she not only intended to kill when she plunged the knife 11cm into Ms Stewart’s face, but was reckless to the dangers of her actions, Justice Wylie said.
Prosecutors said Browne had been angry before the attack and then chose a large knife, which she hid behind her back to maintain the element of surprise, before striking Ms Stewart’s head a vulnerable target he said.
By contrast, Browne’s defence team argued she had not been aggressive before the attack and that alcohol and, possibly, drugs, clouded her judgement, Justice Wylie said.
He said they also argued the fatal blow was not premeditated or thrown with power and was dealt in front of numerous witnesses.
This showed Browne never intended to kill, he said. NZN