The woman accused of luring a man to her house over a drug deal gone wrong has admitted a charge of manslaughter.
Rachel Marie Parker, 38, has been on trial in the High Court in Palmerston North facing a charge of being a party to the murder of Jamie Faulkner.
But after seven days of evidence, the Crown yesterday downgraded the charge and Parker pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
About 3.35pm on September 4, 2009, Jamie Faulkner was shot dead at the Heretaunga St flat Parker shared with Jamie Mills in Palmerston North.
Mills pulled the trigger and has been sentenced after admitting a charge of murder.
Trial evidence suggested Parker texted Faulkner to come alone to discuss a $140 methamphetamine deal.
"[To prove a murder charge] the Crown would have to show that she did something to help Mills kill Mr Faulkner and, importantly, that she did that knowing that he might well shoot Mr Faulkner," Justice Forrest Miller told the jury as he discharged them.
That meant it would have had to prove that Parker sent the texts and did so knowing Mills was likely to fire the gun.
"For manslaughter the Crown just has to show she knew the gun was there and Mills would use it to threaten or intentionally to demand money or drugs.
"That's enough because in a case like that it's always likely things will go wrong and the gun will end up being used."
The jury heard about a series of texts between Faulkner and a phone belonging to Parker on the day of the shooting.
Faulkner agreed to come to her place to discuss the deal and a text was sent from Parker's phone to him: "You better be by yourself. Don't want anyone knowing my hobbies eh hun?"
At 3.35pm Faulkner said: "Meet me out front now."
A reply to him said: "Come in, number two unlocked, just getting re-dressed mate." A neighbour said she heard a disturbance from the flat before a woman's voice shouted: "Jamie, Jamie."
The defence appeared to be suggesting through its questions to witnesses that there was a struggle between Mills and Faulkner, who was shot in the chest. He wrestled the gun from Mills and ran outside, but died of his injuries.
Initially Parker told police she was not at home at the time of the shooting.
She was remanded in custody until next month for sentencing.
Held in cells
Jamie Andrew Mills, the man who shot Jamie Faulkner, spent almost three days waiting in the Palmerston North court house cells after he was summonsed to give evidence.
A search of the court file revealed he had been ordered to come to court and had left the confines of the Wanganui prison, where he is serving his 11-year minimum sentence.
It is understood Parker's defence team would have called him.
At his sentencing, Justice Ronald Young told Mills: "This was a mindless piece of violence in which you shot an unarmed man who was tricked into coming to your home.
"You showed him no mercy while he was cowering in a corner of the room."