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Murder victim An An Liu told a woman she stayed with briefly that Nai Yin Xue offered to marry her so she could stay in New Zealand.
Jian Zhang was giving evidence on the third day of the trial at the High Court in Auckland of Xue, 55, who denies murdering Ms Liu, 27, in September 2007.
Ms Liu had stayed in a house owned by Ms Zhang's brother-in-law for a month after she fled Xue's house to a women's refuge following an incident in September 2006.
Ms Liu had complained to police that Xue had thrown an object at her, punched her and then threatened to kill her while holding a knife at her.
She then pleaded with Ms Zhang to let her move in with her in October 2006 after saying she saw Xue driving near her new residence despite having a protection order against Xue.
Ms Zhang said Ms Liu told her the history of her relationship with Xue during the month she was there.
She said Ms Liu had moved in to Xue's place as a tenant on a deal which meant she paid no rent if she did work around the house.
Eventually she had problems with staying in New Zealand, and Xue said she should look at marrying somebody.
When she wondered who she could marry, Xue told her "what about me" and she accepted, Ms Zhang told the court.
Ms Zhang said Ms Liu told her about the deterioration of their relationship and the September 2006 incident.
However, the trial judge, Justice Hugh Williams, told the jury that the prosecutors would not rely on Ms Zhang's evidence that Xue pointed a gun at Ms Liu at some time after their 2003 marriage.
The statement was not in her brief of evidence and Xue's lawyer Chris Comeskey objected, saying it could be prejudicial.
Following a discussion in chambers, Justice Williams told the all-female jury that the Crown had advised it would not rely on the evidence.
Justice Williams said he was likely to make statements about what use could be made of the evidence when he sums up the case at the end of the trial.
The Crown alleges Xue strangled Ms Liu to death and then fled to Australia, where he abandoned the couple's three-year-old daughter Qian Xun Xue at a Melbourne railway station before heading to the United States.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.