8 Apr 2024

Elijah Daveron trial: Man was shot in stomach over gang member's grudge, jury told

8:46 pm on 8 April 2024
Elijah Daveron in the dock in the High Court in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ/Ruth Hill

A man fired three bullets into another man's torso and lower back, then texted associates to say he had shot someone and stashed the gun, a prosecutor says.

Elijah Daveron is on trial in the High Court in Wellington, charged with the attempted murder of Sam Gourley and discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The trial got under way on Monday, with police prosecutor Amanda Brosnan telling the jury Daveron did not know Gourley when he drove Mongrel Mob member Koru Coker to intercept him on 31 October 2021.

He was following the instructions of Coker's girlfriend, Taylor May, who was an old friend of Gourley's.

Coker had asked her to set up a meeting with Gourley, whom he suspected of shooting at him on an earlier occasion, the jury was told.

"Gourley had heard the rumours circulating about him and he was aware May was Coker's partner, so he was hesitant at first," Brosnan said.

"However, she said she knew nothing about the shooting and eventually persuaded him to meet up."

She travelled by car from the Kapiti Coast, while Gourley drove from Upper Hutt.

They met at the Sandbar Pub in Mana, before travelling separately to the jet ski car park at Plimmerton.

Brosnan said CCTV footage, cellphone geolocation data and text messages would show Coker was in frequent contact with May about their whereabouts before all three cars arrived at the car park.

Daveron then got out of the car with a .22 calibre firearm, she said.

"He went over to the right hand rear passenger door of Mr Gourley's car and opened it. We know this, the Crown says, because he left his fingerprints on that door handle. The Crown alleges that Mr Daveron then shot at Mr Gourley three times."

Gourley was shot three times in the abdomen and lower back, but a fourth shot missed his head and went through the windscreen.

All three cars left the scene shortly afterwards.

Daveron was picked up soon after by a police constable on road patrol, who clocked him speeding. He was subsequently taken by ambulance to Wellington Regional Hospital.

Ms Brosnan said Daveron, Coker and another man, Bo-Dean Tua, whom they had picked up earlier, drove to an address in Whitby, where they removed an object from the car, and took off its registration plates.

The firearm had not been located.

May was picked up by police and taken to a police station for questioning.

She was texted by Coker at 5.10pm and told to "delete all messages", Brosnan said.

Police searched Daveron's house on 8 November and found ammunition that matched the spent casings at the scene, as well as his mobile phone.

They say he sent various messages to associates over the previous week to say he had shot someone and stashed the gun.

However, his lawyer, Steve Gill, said there was no evidence his client was even at the scene of the shooting.

"At best, the Crown could show Mr Daveron's car was present at the car park. There's no evidence at all that he was present, the defence say."

He asked the jury to "keep an open mind".

"Whoever was the shooter, the Crown will have great difficulty proving an intent to kill anyway because there were two .22 bullets that went into his torso - very unlikely to kill. The Crown would never be able to prove intention to kill in these circumstances."

The trial is set down for three weeks.

The jury also has the option of considering an alternative charge to attempted murder - that of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.