Matthew Hunt shooting; Eli Epiha (The Killer) sentenced to life in jail

Matthew Hunt shooting; Eli Epiha (The Killer) sentenced to life in jail

Matthew Dennis Hunt was a New Zealand policeman whose death in Massey on June 19, 2020, received widespread national attention. Eli Epiha, a 24-year-old man, confessed to his murder, and Natalie Bracken, a 30-year-old woman, was found guilty of being an accessory to the crime. Hunt was New Zealand’s first police officer killed in the line of duty since 2009. On 10 December 2021, Eli Epiha was sentenced to life in jail with no possibility of parole. Scroll down to know everything regarding the Matthew Hunt shooting case.

Who was Matthew Hunt? Family, Education

Matthew Hunt shooting
28-year old Zealand policeman Matthew killed on June 19, 2020 Source: Twitter

Matthew Hunt, a 28-year-old constable who had served in the New Zealand Police Force for two and a half years, was killed. He worked as a frontline officer in his hometown of Orewa for the bulk of his career before being assigned to the Impairment Prevention Team (IPT) at the Auckland Harbour Bridge Police Station for a temporary rotation. Hunt joined the force in October 2017 as part of Wing 312, which was trained at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Papakowhai.

On the Hibiscus Coast, he was reared by his mother and sister and attended Orewa College. Hunt’s “lifelong desire” was to become a police officer after studying criminology and working in jails, according to his relatives.

What actually happened on 19 June 2020?

Constable Matthew Hunt and a second police officer were shot on June 19 at 10:37 a.m. (NZST) when a car they were attempting to take over crashed on Reynella Drive in Massey, Auckland. During the incident, Constable Hunt was slain. His colleague got hurt and had to go to the hospital. During the incident, a member of the public was also injured by a vehicle. Following the incident, the suspect escaped in a silver Mazda Demio, which he subsequently abandoned, according to police.

Legal Proceeding

Eli Epiha appeared in the Auckland High Court in early July 2020, pleading not guilty to the murder of Constable Hunt and the attempted murder of the second officer. He also pleaded not guilty to causing injury to a member of the public while driving dangerously. Epiha’s name suppression lapsed on August 14th after he dropped his petition for name suppression. Eli pled guilty to Hunt’s murder and careless driving causing harm after escaping police in early July 2021. Epiha, on the other hand, pled not guilty to the attempted murder of the second police officer, Constable David Goldfinch.

The killer Epiha was found guilty of the attempted murder of Goldfinch on July 27, 2021. Throughout the trial, the defendant claimed that he had no intention of killing Goldfinch. Bracken was sentenced to twelve months in jail for her part as an accessory to causing grievous bodily harm on October 1, 2021. Justice Venning dismissed the defendant’s allegation that she behaved under duress to protect others, adding that she had the option of fleeing or hiding in her home rather than returning to get her car keys. Epiha was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 27 years on December 10, 2021.

Who is Eli Epiha(The Killer)? He was sentenced to life in jail with no possibility of parole.

The man who murdered police officer Matthew Hunt and attempted to assassinate his partner David Goldfinch was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum non-parole period of 27 years. Eli Epiha, a 24-year-old man, has been charged with murder, attempted murder, and causing bodily harm by hazardous driving. He’s been remanded in detention and given temporary name suppression. Natalie Bracken, 30, is charged with driving while intoxicated and being an accessory to murder.

After escaping a traffic stop in West Auckland in June 2020 and opening fire on two officers, Eli Epiha was sentenced in the High Court in Auckland. He admitted to killing Hunt and driving recklessly, causing injury, but claimed he only shot Goldfinch to scare him away. In July, a jury found him guilty of the attempted murder of officer David Goldfinch after a two-week trial in which both Epiha and Goldfinch testified and ten hours of deliberation. Epiha was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 27 years on December 10, 2021.

The mother of Matthew Hunt, Diane Hunt, told Epiha 

“all I see before me is a coward”. “My son was unarmed and running away from you when you shot him four times in the back,” she said. She said she had never heard something so “vacuous and insulting” as Epiha’s apology through his lawyer.”I will never ever forgive you,” “I couldn’t have asked for a better son than Matthew. And I will never get over the fact he lost his life in such a horrific way.”

Matthew Hunt funeral; Family pay tribute to loyal constable

Matthew Hunt funeral
Constable Matthew Hunt’s funeral Source:

Constable Matthew Hunt’s mother has spoken out for the first time about her son’s death, claiming that he had “everything to live for.” Following a lone police piper, Hunt’s coffin, wrapped with a police flag, was carried out of the funeral service by his comrades. The coffin was put on a plinth out on Eden Park while the Eagle chopper flew overhead, and his colleagues – wearing black arm bands and swallowing back tears – performed the flag ceremony. They carefully folded the fabric that had been atop Hunt’s casket in preparation for Commissioner Andrew Coster’s presentation to Hunt’s family.

His colleagues then conducted a powerful haka in his honor, their anguish reverberating throughout Eden Park. Hunt was then put into the back of the hearse and transported through a complete guard of honour, which included a piper, a police car with flashing lights, flag bearers, and fully uniformed police dogs, as the solemn stillness returned. On his final formal journey as a police officer, his family and close friends walked behind him.


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