13 Jan 2015

Murder charge over Wellington man's death

12:36 pm on 13 January 2015

A 26-year-old arrested in relation to the death of a Wellington man before Christmas has had the charge against him upgraded to murder.

Bruce Coker, 49, was found lying unconscious in a street in the Wellington suburb of Tawa on 20 December and died in hospital three days later.

A Porirua man, who has name suppression, had earlier been charged with assault.

In Porirua District Court this morning the assault charge was withdrawn and police laid a new charge of murder.

During his brief appearance the man made a gang sign with his hand, and he and a supporter made barking noises.

One man had to be spoken to by court security and his supporters were escorted from the building.

In the carpark an argument erupted between two men, who had to be separated by the police and security staff.

Judge Jan Kelly remanded the man in custody until his next appearance at the High Court in Wellington in February, when the issue of name suppression will also be considered.