Topic: Crime

Pawn shop killer gets life for double murder

By Online News Team
  • Auckland
Zahn Tarapata receives sentence for double murder - Photo / file

26-year-old Zarn Tarapata who stabbed two men to death in a South Auckland pawn shop was handed a life sentence, with 17 years in prison minimum before eligibility of parole, for an unprovoked double murder.

Today, a High Court jury revealed the sentence after finding Tarapata guilty in May for the murders of Paul Matthews (47), and Paul Fanning (69) at the Ezy Cash store in Takanini last July.

Tarapata had admitted to killing the pair on 19 July 2015 but it was undetermined as to whether he was "mentally unwell" at the time.

The jury has now rejected the defence that he was insane at the time of the killing.

Tarapata's partner and mother of his three children worked at the Ezy Cash store with the victims and was at the premises when the Tarapata walked through the store and stabbed the victims.

Tarapata fled with his partner and children after the stabbings, and was found later that night in Huntly.

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