8 Apr 2015

Trio in court charged with murder

11:55 am on 8 April 2015

People in the public gallery shouted messages of support for three men when they appeared in Christchurch District Court charged with the murder of a prison inmate.

Benton Marni Parata

Benton Marni Parata Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

There was heavy security in the courtroom during the appearance of Steven Betham, 36, Akuhatua Tihi, 22, and 20-year-old Levi Reuben.

They are accused of murdering Benton Parata, who was critically injured in an assault at Christchurch Men's Prison on 25 March and died six days later.

The men were remanded without plea by Judge Jane Farish.

They will appear in the Christchurch High Court for a pre-trial appearance on 24 April.