Wellington homicide: Two women charged in relation to murder of Rau Tōngia in his Karori home

Two women facing charges in relation to the fatal shooting of Wellington man Rau Tongia will keep their names secret for now.

A 35-year-old woman has been charged with murdering Tongia on December 20, while a 20-year-old woman is charged with being an accessory after the fact to the murder.

Both women have appeared today in Wellington District Court.

Court documents allege the younger women “actively suppressed evidence” by transporting and concealing a firearm at an associate’s property in order to help someone avoid conviction.

Her lawyer applied for interim name suppression on the basis her elderly grandfather would suffer “shock and horror” and potential harm to his health if he found out about her charge on the news.

Judge Mill granted the application.

The older woman also appeared this afternoon. Her lawyer also argued for interim name suppression on the basis he had concerns for her mental health.

Judge Mill said there did not appear to be strong grounds to grant the application, but agreed to grant it pending a mental health assessment.

The suppression will be reviewed at the next appearance.

Neither defendant has entered a plea to their respective charges. They were remanded in custody to reappear in the High Court at Wellington next month.

Tongia was found dead in his Karori home late last month.

Despite the murder charge, police are still appealing to the public for any information.

“The investigation is still active and police would still like to hear from anyone who has information which may assist,” a statement said this morning.

“Police are not ruling out the possibility of further charges.”

Anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the early hours of Sunday, December 20, and who has not spoken with authorities is urged to contact police immediately via 105.

Police revealed yesterday that they had located a firearm they believed was linked to his death.

The firearm was found during a search warrant in Wilton earlier this month, police said.

“It is currently undergoing forensic analysis.”

Police said they are also looking into whether or not the weapon is linked to any other offending across the district.

“While testing is underway, police [are] unable to provide further information about the firearm,” police said.

“No one should have to put up with this activity in their neighbourhood and we will continue to target those involved in violent offending.”

Source: Read Full Article