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Ameria Whatuira murder – ‘good mate’ pleads guilty

44 year old Naomi Lee Morrison has pleaded guilty to the murder of Ameria Whatuira today in the Dunedin High Court.

Morrison and Whatuira were friends and following an afternoon of drinking and smoking cannabis on 6 August at the former’s home in Glenleith, Morrison stabbed Whatuira mulitple times in the head and chest. One of the wounds penetrated Whatuira’s heart.

Morrison wrapped the body and left it on the deck for several days.

On 14 August Morrison, together with her friend Tialoren Topping, dug a shallow grave on the property and buried Whatuira’s body, spraying the area with perfume to mask the odour.

Following a tip-off police searched the property on 1 September but found nothing.

A second search was conducted on 8 October, this time the body was discovered.

Morrison pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next month. Topping was jailed for 13 months for being an accessory after the fact, and had a 11 months added for unrelated charges.


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