A Bay of Plenty man was allegedly murdered by gang associates because he dobbed in the captain of a Mongrel Mob local chapter to the police after they found meth during a raid.
Eli Johnson had initially taken the rap for methamphetamine found by police in October 2018, before retracting his statement and giving evidence against Tauranga Aotearoa captain Adrian Rewiri in a trial in 2021.
The meth, crown prosecutor Anna Pollett told a jury in the High Court at Hamilton today, belonged to Rewiri and he, together with his Sergeant at Arms, Maru Wright, then assaulted Johnson.
But it’s not Rewiri or Wright on trial for Johnson’s murder, it’s patched Mongrel Mob Aotearoa member Quayde Richard Dean Hulbert, 30, and his prospect Billy Tama Rielly, 22.
Both accused deny the murder charge and each claimed, through their counsel Bill Nabney and Tony Rickard-Simms, the crown have the wrong men.
Opening the crown case, prosecutor Anna Pollett said it was a “gang-ordered killing.
“To the gang, Eli Johnson had been a nark,” she said.
Pollett said Johnson’s move to give evidence against Rewiri was a “no-no according to long-standing gang protocol.
“And what we know now, is there was a target on his back for having done so.”
Hulbert, known as ‘Slicer Dogg’, and Rielly are alleged to have driven to Johnson’s Whakamara property from Tauranga, stopping at the Caltex Welcome Bay twice, before they stopped at Bartholomew for a toilet break for Rielly.
Mongrel Mob Aotearoa member Quadye Hulbert, left, and prospect Billy Rielly in the dock of the High Court at Hamilton this morning. Photo / Belinda Feek
Their next alleged movements saw them park up about 850 metres away from Johnson’s Old Highway Rd family property, on Plummers Point Rd before walking up Barletts Rd.
It’s there Pollett alleged, and showed the jury CCTV footage, that the pair are seen walking past the Whakamara shops at 8.10pm in the same clothing the pair were seen wearing at the Caltex just an hour earlier.
At 8.33pm, Pollett submitted, it’s the pair that are seen running down the road back towards their car.
Mongrel Mob Aotearoa Tauranga chapter captain Adrian John Rewiri pictured last year. Photo / Andrew Warner
During that time, Pollett said Johnson was stabbed 13 times by two different knives, the tip of one of which broke off in his skull during the attack.
Due to heavy rain, it remained unclear whether Johnson - who was not associated with the gang - was lured out of his cabin and stabbed or if it began inside the cabin and he came out.
‘Save my life, please’
His aunty, Tina Kingi, was inside the house and heard him yelling “aunty, aunty, help”.
In her evidence today, she said he told her he had been “stabbed up” and to call an ambulance.
“I opened the back door and he was standing there and I seen everything they had done to him.
“He said, ‘call an ambulance I have been stabbed up and it’s bad’.”
She noticed the back of his head was “open”, his face had been slashed and he had wounds to his arm and stomach.
As she was on the phone with 111, she asked Johnson who did it.
“He’s saying the name, Quayde,” Kingi is heard saying on the call.
Police called back and Johnson can be heard saying “save my life ... save my life, please”.
Kingi also states that Johnson kept saying Hulbert’s name and told his uncle, “they got me”, indicating there was more than one, Pollett said.
However, in cross-examination with Rickards-Simms, he asks whether she told 111 Quayde or Craig.
Kingi accepted it could have been either.
Kingi’s husband, Jade, also took to the stand and recalled Johnson saying the name “Craig or Quadye Hulbert”.
“He only said it once. It could have been either.”
Pollett showed two CCTV clips of footage from the Caltex at Welcome Bay to the jury; the first showed Rielly buying something inside, and the second when Hulbert goes in.
She asked the jury to take note of the clothing they were wearing which she submitted is the same clothing seen being worn in CCTV from the Whakamarama shops.
‘Just been doing dirty deeds’
Pollett also produced recordings from calls between Hulbert and a prisoner the day after the killing, which he said he’d done a “favour for the brother”.
She claimed that was a message to Rewiri that the job had been done.
Hulbert rang another prisoner 13 days later saying he’s “just been doing dirty deeds”. He also said he was being investigated for a murder at “ole Whakamarama, Tauranga ... 13 days ago”.
“Who’s that on, Dogg?”, the prisoner asked.
“A nark,” Hulbert replied.
“Oh, seig heil.”
Pollett submitted the pair then drove to Legacy Funeral Home in Pyes Pa and burnt the clothes they’d been wearing.
Kingi was today the first of 30 witnesses to give evidence and the trial, being overseen by Justice Francis Cooke, is expected to take three weeks.
Belinda Feek is an Open Justice reporter based in Waikato. She has worked at NZME for nine years and been a journalist for 20.
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