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Eli Epiha denies 'hunting' Constable David Goldfinch in trial

Constable Matthew Hunt’s killer says he would have killed the slain police officer’s partner if he wanted to, as he denied trying to kill Constable David Goldfinch in court.

Source: 1 NEWS

Eli Epiha has admitted murdering Constable Hunt on June 19 last year, but he is on trial for attempting to murder Constable Goldfinch.

He told the court he was only firing a warning shot and not trying to kill Constable Goldfinch after his vehicle came to a halt following a 180-degree slide as he was trying to flee police.

At that point Constable Goldfinch “said something like ‘police, stop, show me your hands’ or something like that,” Epiha told the court.

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Eli Epiha took the stand in his defence, saying his original intention that day was to protect his family from gang violence. Source: 1 NEWS

Epiha recalled reaching back into the car and grabbing the closest gun.

“[Goldfinch] said ‘oh f***, drop the f***ing gun, drop the f***ing gun.’

“I told him...’get in your car’. I told him to 'f*** off', multiple times.”

“If I wanted to kill him, I would have killed him straight away instead of firing a warning shot.”

Epiha denied “hunting” Constable Goldfinch despite the police officer saying he used that phrase when calling comms.

Woman who drove Constable Hunt's killer from shooting says she was threatened

The 25-year-old says he continued to fire at Constable Goldfinch so the police officer would run away and allow him to flee.

“I wasn’t trying take him out. I just wanted him to gap it, so I could gap it... If I wanted to kill him, I would have,” he said.

Epiha told the court his focus was to “keep Goldfinch running” so he could flee, but he couldn’t explain why he fired 10 times.

“I wasn’t really counting and it was happening really fast,” he said.

“I do know the first shot was definitely away from him, definitely a warning. [I] was just trying to scare him, make him gap. The first three shots were away from him.”

He claimed he was not sure if he had even hit Constable Goldfinch.

“[Goldfinch] was pretty quick,” he said. “There was no sign he got hit from any bullets.”

Epiha said he had taken the guns to scare away gang members who were involved in a dispute with some of his family.

He was planning to drive north when he got a call from his distressed brother-in law, who told him about the dispute.

“I had to go pick up some guns to arm up to scare these people away from one of my family houses.

“Some gang members were on their way over to attack my family.”

His plans quickly changed after he crashed his car and saw police quickly approaching.

Epiha denied threatening Natalie Bracken, who is charged with being an accessory after the fact of murder, to drive him away from the scene.

Earlier today, Bracken told the court Epiha had threatened her with a gun.

A 12-person jury is tasked with determining if Epiha’s guilty of attempting to murder Constable Goldfinch.

They must also decide if Bracken was an accessory after the fact of murder, by helping the killer avoid arrest.