A murder charge has been laid against a 21-year-old hitchhiker who is accused of killing a man who gave him a ride.
Sixty-four-year-old Gordon Tunnicliffe died in a Hastings hospice two weeks after being injured in his home in Tokaanu, near Turangi on April 14.
A 21-year-old man has been in custody since the incident, and his assault charge has today been upgraded to murder.
Detective Inspector Mark Loper says Mr Tunnicliffe's family has been advised of the murder charge and police will continue to work closely with the family to keep them informed.
Photo: NZ Herald