Not guilty of child’s death

A MAN accused of killing his stepdaughter has been found not guilty in a majority verdict.

The 12 jurors in the High Court trial in Auckland have found Michael Joseph Martin, 25, not guilty of murder, not guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of ill treatment of a child.

The Crown said Mr Martin struck Leilani Mary-Jane Lotonu'u's stomach with a blow so severe it ruptured an internal organ and a resulting infection proved fatal.

The defence argued Mr Martin was innocent and Leilani's mother Amy Lorigan must have been responsible.


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