A teenage boy accused of fatally stabbing a homeless man during a fight says he did not do it deliberately, his lawyer has told the High Court in Napier.
Haami Hanara, 14, is accused of stabbing 40-year-old Kelly Donner in March, after getting into a fight with him over a torch.
Mr Hanara has pleaded guilty to one charge of burglary and pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.
His lawyer Eric Forster told the jury his client was holding a knife but he did not mean to kill Mr Donner.
"Just because Kelly Donner died does not mean that he intended for him to die.
"The defence is, in a nutshell, is that Haami Hanara did not do it deliberately," Mr Forster told the jury.
Giving evidence, as the defence's one and only witness, Mr Hanara said he was given a knife by his friend who asked him to hold it while he and Mr Donner had a fight.
He said he borrowed Mr Donner's torch when he and four other friends were trying to steal a van at the back of the Flax Bar and Eatery at about 10pm on 4 March.
He said he passed the torch to his friend, but when Mr Donner asked for it back and his friend refused to give it, Mr Donner became aggressive.
Being questioned by his lawyer, Mr Hanara said he was worried there was going to be a fight.
"I told him to go because it was getting bad. Because everyone was starting to get angry."
Mr Donner refused to leave without getting his torch back, he said.
"And that was when the bottles came out."
Earlier the court heard that Mr Hanara was arrested more than 270km way from the crime scene on a rural property in Whanganui, on 6 April.
Detective Rhyan Honeyfield told the court he located the teenager in a shed.
"I placed him under arrest for grevious bodily harm and that he may charged with murder.
"He said, 'Who me?'"
Mr Hanara will continue to give evidence this afternoon.