Man pleads guilty to 'brutal' slaying at Epsom establishment

Author
John Weekes, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 2 Jun 2021, 11:21AM
Jiann-Hwa Maa pleaded guilty to the murder of Zion Gutnik, who was killed at Epsom's Club 574 in March 2020. (Photo / Michael Craig)
Jiann-Hwa Maa pleaded guilty to the murder of Zion Gutnik, who was killed at Epsom's Club 574 in March 2020. (Photo / Michael Craig)

Man pleads guilty to 'brutal' slaying at Epsom establishment

Author
John Weekes, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 2 Jun 2021, 11:21AM

A brothel manager has admitted murdering his colleague Zion Gutnik at Epsom's Club 574.

Jiann-Hwa Maa, 61, was arrested after Gutnik was killed at the central Auckland establishment on March 9 last year.

Maa appeared in the dock at the High Court in Auckland this morning and pleaded guilty at 10am.

Prosecutor Robin McCoubrey said the Crown believed evidence suggested Maa meant to kill Gutnik, and "brutality" characterised the killing.

But Maa disagreed.

"The killing was not intentional and it remains his position this morning," defence counsel Kelly-Ann Stoikoff said.

The club at 574 Manukau Road, Epsom, where Zion Gutnik was found dead last year. (Photo / Ben Leahy)

The court also heard an allegation Maa disabled CCTV at the Epsom club.

A half-day disputed facts hearing on June 10 will address some outstanding matters but today's guilty plea means no murder trial will be necessary.

Several police and members of the public were in court this morning.

Maa was convicted and remanded in custody.