Murder-accused 'killed woman in a jealous rage'

Invercargill man Samuel Samson appears on the first day of a High Court jury trial in...
Invercargill man Samuel Samson appears on the first day of a High Court jury trial in Invercargill where he is defending the charge of murdering his former partner, Azalia Wilson. PHOTO: STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Invercargill woman Azalia Wilson was killed in a violent attack where she was kicked, strangled and stabbed with a knife, jurors heard today.

The jury trial for Samuel Moses Samson began before Justice Gerald Nation in the High Court at Invercargill today.

Samson is charged with murdering Miss Wilson at the Bavarian Motel in Waikiwi, Invercargill, on November 17, 2019.

In her opening address, Crown solicitor Mary-Jane Thomas said Samson killed Miss Wilson in a jealous rage.

"This death was caused, the Crown says, because the defendant was jealous and enraged."

Samson had been dropped off at the motel by a taxi driver at 1.43am on the night of the murder.

A person came to pick him up at 3.07am, leaving the motel at 3.24am.

"The Crown’s case is between getting dropped off at the motel and about 3am that morning, the defendant murdered Azalia Wilson."

Ms Thomas said Miss Wilson was beaten to death.

"There were extensive blunt-force injuries to the head and face.

"It wasn’t one punch, the Crown says it was from repeated blows, the force of such there was brain bleed, there were fractures of eye socket, nasal bones and jaw."

There were cuts, of various types, all over Miss Wilson’s body including her neck, arms and legs and around her pubic area.

The person who picked Samson up then drove him to the Oreti River, near Fosbender Park, to get rid of the evidence, the Crown alleges.

Ms Thomas said evidence presented during the trial would show the key to the motel room was found at the river, a handbag and purse as well as documentation belonging to Ms Wilson. There would also be part of a knife, which linked back to a knife found in the motel.

"The Crown says that knife was taken out to the river because it linked the knife with her death."

A later search of the driver’s car revealed a pair of boots which also had Miss Wilson’s DNA on them and matched impressions on her body.

Forensic evidence, CCTV footage and Ram data and phone evidence would be presented which would show Samson was at the motel, then travelled to the Oreti River before travelling to Christchurch where he only stayed for a few hours, Ms Thomas said.

He then turned himself into Invercargill police two days after the murder.

Defence counsel Judith Ablett-Kerr QC asked jurors to concentrate on the evidence.

"Focus on the evidence that you’ve got in front of you.

"Your duty is to come into the court with an open mind, to be independent and to listen to the evidence."

Of particular interest were the three witnesses who would be called tomorrow.

"These are central to the prosecution’s case," Ms Ablett-Kerr said.

Sixty-three witnesses will be called during the trial which was expected to take between three and four weeks.

The trial will continue tomorrow.







Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter