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Jurors can't reach majority verdict on whether Epiha intended to kill Auckland cop

The jury in the trial for the pair charged following the fatal shooting of a policeman in West Auckland in June last year say it’s unable to reach a verdict on Eli Epiha's charge.

Eli Epiha. Source: 1 NEWS

After hearing two weeks of evidence at the High Court in Auckland, the 12 jurors must decide if Epiha, 25, who’s admitted murdering Constable Matthew Hunt, is also guilty of attempting to murder his partner Constable David Goldfinch.

Natalie Bracken, 31, is also on trial for being an accessory after the fact of wounding with intent.

The jury initially told the judge they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

At that point Justice Geoffrey Venning told the jurors to retire and to try and reach a majority verdict.

A majority verdict is when only 11 of the 12 jurors can agree.

This is an option the judge can give the jury if it becomes obvious a unanimous decision is impossible.

The jury returned shortly after 1.30pm to tell the court they still couldn't reach a verdict. Justice Geoffrey Venning has told them to continue their deliberations.

“No one should give in merely for the sake of agreement”

If, after further deliberation, they cannot make a decision, Venning told them they will be discharged.

Earlier, the jury returned to court seeking clarification on a number of issues, on its second day of deliberations.

Among the issues the jury wanted addressing this morning was whether it can take it that there was murderous intent when Epiha shot at Constable Hunt.

Justice Geoffrey Venning told them that’s not an issue they need to decide, as he will rule on it when sentencing Epiha for Constable Hunt’s murder, as he’s already pleaded guilty.

Epiha pleaded guilty to that charge on the basis of recklessness.

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Eli Epiha and Natalie Bracken are seen driving away as Constable Hunt’s body lies on the road. Source: 1 NEWS

The jury also asked the judge to clarify the meaning of recklessness, and whether "intent" can be "in the moment" rather than "pre-planned".

It began its second day of deliberations by re-watching two pieces of video evidence, the footage of the defendants leaving the scene and CCTV video of them arriving at a property in West Auckland.

It made the request to view the clips late yesterday, before retiring for the night.

The jurors had already returned to court once yesterday to re-watch the CCTV footage that captured audio of the incident on Reynella Drive.