"Please stay with me, my darling," shouted a distraught young man moments after he shot his girlfriend in the head.
The desperate plea was made shortly after 4pm on May 8 last year.
About that time, unemployed Otaki Beach man Tuaine Llewellyn Bevan, 28, mortally wounded 23-year-old Stacey Lake, his partner of 4 years.
Before Justice Jillian Mallon and a jury in the High Court at Palmerston North, Bevan is on trial charged with murder.
The Crown has said Bevan planned the killing because of a domestic dispute, but the defence said the shooting was an accident - that Bevan had removed the gun's magazine and did not realise it could be fired.
Crown prosecutor Paul Murray said yesterday the .22 sawn-off rifle was 5 to 20cm away from Lake's scalp when she was shot in the bedroom of their Ngaio St, Otaki Beach, house, where they had lived since February last year.
That rifle had been stashed at a family member's property and Bevan retrieved it 30 minutes before the shooting.
Those actions showed murderous intent, Murray said.
Lake's death was the culmination of a "simmering" domestic dispute that heated up on May 5.
"He punched her and gave her a black eye. He did this because he didn't want her to go out with her friends that evening," Murray said.
Lake asked Bevan to leave on May 6, which he did. She spent the evening drinking with friends, but as her night out finished, in the early hours of May 7, Lake texted Bevan and the pair went home together.
By May 8, Bevan's brother Hohepa Manning called round for a visit and noticed Bevan had skinned knuckles and a scratch to his face. Lake was wearing sunglasses.
"[Bevan] said he wanted to smash Stacey over. Hohepa told him not to do that. The accused said he was in a destructive mood and wanted to destroy something or someone," Murray said. Inside, the house was in disarray; items were broken, there was damage to a door and the contents of drawers was strewn about the floor.
A passer-by phoned 111 and Bevan told one of the first police officers there: "Bro, I f***ed up. I took the magazine off and I didn't know there was a bullet in it."
The Crown does not accept the shooting was an accident.
"To hold the gun like that with the muzzle 5 to 20cm from the deceased's scalp is utterly deliberate.
"There's no doubt that in the time afterwards [Bevan] is extremely distraught, upset, pleading for the deceased to stay with him. But by then it's too late."
Defence lawyer Christopher Stevenson asked the jury to concentrate on Bevan's actions after the shooting, saying his behaviour was not that of someone who had planned to kill his partner. Neighbours saw Bevan in a "hysterical, distraught and grieving" state.
As the 111 call was made, Bevan was yelling in the background: "Please stay with me my darling, don't go", and wondering when emergency services would arrive.
Stevenson said Bevan's earlier behaviour did not help him, but it was possible to make a mistake with a firearm.
Lake was taken to Wellington Hospital by helicopter and died at 2.40am on May 9, 2011.
The trial is expected to finish next week.