24 Jul 2014

Accused says he was trying to defend friend

9:10 pm on 24 July 2014

A teenager accused of murdering a homeless man in Auckland told police he jumped in when the homeless man tried to attack one of his friends.

Steven Ray Churchis, 18, has denied murdering Edwin Linder in July last year.

His police interview was played to a High Court jury in Auckland on Thursday.

In it, Mr Churchis said he and two of his friends had planned to spend the night in Mills Lane, but came across Mr Linder defecating next to their bags.

He said when they asked him to move, Mr Linder came at one of his friends and he jumped in and hit him.

On Wednesday, one of Mr Churchis' friends described seeing Mr Churchis kick Mr Linder to the ground and stomp on his head 10 times.

The man died in hospital days later.