Burton guilty of attempted murder

Double-killer Graeme Burton was found guilty this afternoon of attempting to murder a fellow prison inmate last year.

A jury of seven men and five women at the High Court in Auckland found that Burton attempted to kill Dwayne Marsh at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo on December 20 last year.

They returned with their verdict about 3.45pm after a day and a half of deliberation.

Burton stabbed Marsh several times with a sharpened steel rod in a corridor outside the cells in Paremoremo.

One of these stab wounds, to the heart, caused injuries that required emergency hospital surgery to save Marsh's life.

Security camera footage shown to jurors during this week's trial showed Burton entering Marsh's cell. Marsh was seen backing out of the cell shortly afterwards, pursued by Burton.

Burton was seen pursuing Marsh up and down the corridor three times, with an object in each hand.

Marsh was eventually pulled out of the corridor by security guards. He was escorted to the prison medical centre, where his eyes were seen to roll backwards and it was only the intervention of a guard that prevented him from falling to the floor.

Jurors went out at 10.10am yesterday and an hour later viewed the security camera footage again in court.

In the afternoon they asked to see the top Marsh was wearing when he was attacked.

Today the jury again twice watched the security camera footage of the incident.

The Crown said Burton's actions clearly showed he intended to kill Marsh.

Burton's lawyer Peter Tomlinson said Burton may have intended to injure Marsh but there was a reasonable doubt as to whether there was an intention to kill.

Details of Burton's criminal history were suppressed during the three-day trial but can be released following today's verdict.

Burton is serving a life sentence, with a minimum non-parole period of 26 years, for the murder of Lower Hutt man Karl Kuchenbecher in January 2007 while he was on parole.

He had previously served 14 years for the stabbing murder of Paul Anderson outside a Wellington nightclub in 1992.

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