Fatal April Fool‘s Day stabbing details released

William James Henare Capper admitted to the manslaughter of his flatmate on April Fool’s Day last year. Photo: Benn Bathgate / Stuff

A man who stabbed his housemate to death after an April Fool’s Day altercation told his adopted brother – who had earlier fought with the deceased – “this is all your fault”.

The background to George Christopher Cross’s death in Taupō can be revealed after William James Henare Capper pleaded guilty to manslaughter last week.

Capper, 35, had originally been charged with, and pleaded not guilty, to murder over the 2021 death, and court documents state he wielded both a hammer and a knife.

The killing happened at Capper and Cross’s Taupō residence, the summary of facts revealed.

Two other associates, one of them Capper’s adopted brother, were visiting and the men had been drinking

“Shortly after 11pm an altercation has broken out between the deceased and Capper’s adopted brother,” the summary said.

Capper then approached with a large kitchen knife, despite one witness grabbing his shoulder and telling him “Bro, drop the knife”.

“The defendant ignored [the witness] and began striking the deceased in the right leg with the knife,” the summary said.

“The deceased started to scream.”

Capper’s adopted brother then heard him tell Cross “that’s what you get”.

Capper was then asked to get towels while an ambulance was called.

“The defendant was standing by the sliding door, [his adopted brother] yelled at the defendant and told him to leave the address,” the summary said.

“The defendant yelled ‘this is all your fault’ to his brother and left.”

The summary said Cross suffered four sharp force injuries to his right thigh, one stab wound penetrating 12cm.

The stab wounds severed two arteries and Cross died from severe blood loss.

Capper later “admitted to stabbing the deceased”.

He will be sentenced at the High Court in Rotorua in June.

-Stuff/Benn Bathgate.

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