Tauranga trial begins for double-murder accused after Ōmanawa shootout

The first day of trial has begun for a man accused of shooting dead two men at a Bay of Plenty property.

Papakura man Samuel Deane Fane, 26, appeared in the Tauranga High Court today after pleading not guilty to two counts of murder.

Fane is accusing of killing Paul Lasslett, 43, and 32-year-old Nicholas Littlewood at an Ormsby Lane rural address in Ōmanawa on February 11, 2020.

His partner Sarah Lee Tarei, 25, is also on trial defending a charge of being an accessory after the fact to the alleged murders by assisting Fane to enable him to avoid arrest.

This charge relates to Tarei’s alleged actions between February 11 and 14 last year.

The jury was empanelled today then sent home by Justice Grant Powell while he discussed legal matters with Crown and defence lawyers.

The jury will return tomorrow when Crown solicitor Anna Pollett is expected to make her opening address. The trial is expected to take four weeks.

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