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Comancheros gang member gets jail for 'execution style killing' in South Auckland

By Anneke Smith of rnz.co.nz

A Comancheros gang member who murdered a young father and tried to murder his wife in south Auckland has been jailed for life.

Villiami Taani shot Abraham Tu'uheava and his wife Yolanda multiple times during a methamphetamine deal on Greenwood Road in Māngere on 1 May.

Mr Tu'uheava, a patched Nomads member, died on the rural stretch but his wife survived, despite being shot in the head twice.

Taani appeared for sentencing in the High Court at Auckland this morning after pleading guilty to murder and attempted murder.

His cousins Fisilau Tapaevalu and Mesui Tufui were found guilty of the same charges after a four-week trial last month.

During the trial, the court heard the killing may have been a hit ordered by the Comancheros gang in Australia over bad blood between the gang and Mr Tu'uheava.

But Taani's defence lawyer Ron Mansfield said his client maintained the shooting was not linked to his gang allegiance this morning.

The court heard the 26-year-old man was raised in a strict Christian household in New Zealand and spent brief periods in Australia.

Justice Hinton said it appeared Taani lived "a double life" and shielded his family from his involvement in the gang.

"There could not be a more tragic illustration than this case of the true effect of gang involvement and the use of methamphetamine."

The judge concluded the shooting was an "execution style" killing and said it involved a high level of brutality and callousness.

The court heard the Tu'uheavas were shot multiple times and begged for their lives on Greenwood Road.

Abraham was shot seven times while Yolanda pretended to be dead after being shot twice in the head.

Taani was supported by his own family in court this morning. He waved to supporters, some of whom attended his cousins' trial in June, from the dock.

Justice Hinton jailed him for life with a minimum non-parole period of 17-and-a-half years.

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A man was shot dead and a woman was shot and injured on May 1. Source: 1 NEWS