None the wiser on drive with murderer, mother tells court

The mother of an Invercargill man found guilty of murder admits she took her son to a park on the night of his crime, but she did not notice any blood or injuries on him, a court has heard.

While giving evidence on the fourth day of her trial in the High Court at Invercargill, Patricia Elizabeth Samson (53) said Samuel Samson did not tell her he had killed Azalia Wilson, nor did she ask him any questions during the half-hour drive from the Bavarian Motel to the Oreti River.

The trial started early this week when Samson denied a charge of attempting to defeat the course of justice.

The Crown and defence yesterday concluded their evidence.

The Crown says Samson discarded items into the Oreti River which would tie her son to the murder of Ms Wilson at the Bavarian Motel on November 17, 2019.

Samson told the court that after receiving a call at 3am from her son asking her to babysit his daughter, she drove to the motel.

She knocked on the door and "stepped into, just past the door".

She placed the baby in her car and her son came out from the unit and put some items in the boot, she said.

"I turned the truck on and to the best of my memory he said that there has been a change of plans ..."

He then shut the boot, sat in the front passenger seat and said "can you take me somewhere?".

She was not aware where they were driving, she said.

He directed her to Fosbender Park, where the discarded items were found.

When they stopped at the car park, her son removed items from her car, gave a hug and thanked her. She then drove off.

"I took Sam to Fosbender Park. I didn’t take anything from the truck because I didn’t get out from the truck."

In cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Riki Donnelly questioned her about when she sent sent a message to her son, asking what time the baby would be picked up, about lunchtime on November 17, and whether she knew Ms Wilson had been killed.

"Is that why you sent that message? To try to set up a story?" Mr Donnelly asked.

"No, you have this completely wrong. It is not true at all," Samson replied.

"A story that you thought Azalia at this time was still alive and well?" Mr Donnelly said.

"I’m not commenting on anything else. I did not sent that message for any other reason to ask when they were going to pick up Kiara," Samson said.

Mr Donnelly also queried why she did not tell police during her statement that she had taken her son to Fosbender Park.

She said her statement was interrupted as she received calls saying her son might be dead.

Mr Donnelly asked if she noticed any blood or injury on her son; she said she did not.

"I wasn’t looking. I just wanted him to get into the car."

The trial continues today.


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