Kieren Pye trial: One not guilty of murder, another waits

Kieren Pye died in 2015. Now one man accused of his murder has been found guilty of manslaughter.
Kieren Pye died in 2015. Now one man accused of his murder has been found guilty of manslaughter.

ONE OF the men accused of murdering 23-year-old Kieren Pye in Ipswich has been found not guilty of murder.

Late on Wednesday, the jury in Brisbane Supreme Court announced it had reached a decision on murder-accused Tupu Sauaga.

As the verdict of not guilty to murder was read out, Sauaga looked up and leaned his head back in relief as family members and supporters in court gasped.

But within seconds, jurors announced they had found him guilty of manslaughter.

The jury had been unable to reach any decision on Wayne Lemaga.

He and Sauaga went on trial last week after pleading not guilty to murdering Mr Pye in Carole Park in 2015.

Wednesday's verdict on Sauaga came only minutes before 5pm and Justice Debra Mullins asked jurors to retire again to deliberate on Mr Lemaga.

He and Sauaga were among a group who encountered Mr Pye, his girlfriend Renae Grove and his friend Peter Bell in the early hours of Thursday April 2, 2015.

Earlier on Wednesday, jurors asked Justice Mullins about some evidence Ms Groves provided.

She told the court Mr Pye was dragged out of a car and "one or two of the guys who came out of the bush" kicked and punched him.

Ms Grove said she saw a weapon "like a butcher knife" come out of Mr Pye's shoulder.

Justice Mullins also read extracts from Mr Lemaga, who told the court Sauaga "gave the final stab" and added: "Tupu just lashed him ... with the machete."

He claimed Sauaga seemed to be trying to aim for Mr Pye's neck.

"I sort of freaked and tried to calm him down."

"I tried telling him enough, that's enough cuzzie, no more," Mr Lemaga added.

"He just went for the big one and it went straight through him."

Sauaga will be sentenced on Thursday. -NewsRegional

Topics:  brisbane court carole park ipswich jury trial kieren pye murder trial

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