The man on trial for the murder of Denver Chance says he feared for his life and shot at him a number of times without looking, a court has heard.
Chance, 43, was last seen on February 24, 2019. He was reported missing three days later.
Police found his body inside a white chest freezer at an address in Kingseat, south Auckland, on March 10, 2019.
Jay Christopher Lingman has denied murder at his trial before Justice Melanie Harland and a jury at the High Court at Auckland.
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He has already pleaded guilty to three charges relating to possession of Class A, B and C drugs, including cocaine and MDMA, for supply or sale.
Denver Chance was last seen by friends on February 24, 2019.
Lingman took the stand on Friday to give evidence in his own defence.
The jury has previously heard that Lingman and Chance were introduced by Desmond Hoeflich at Sandringham’s Lord Kitchener pub.
Lingman said the introduction took place around Easter in 2018 and the topic of cocaine quickly came up, with Chance telling Lingman he would be able to get large quantities of the drug for him.
Around Christmas 2018, Lingman said Chance left drugs inside a gun safe at his property, while he was overseas.
While Chance was still overseas, Lingman said he ran out of drugs to sell and decided to use a master key to open the safe. He sold a large quantity of Chances drugs and assumed he would have the money by the time he got back.
On the day of Chances death, Lingman said Chance showed up unannounced and he began to panic because he didnt have his money.
Lingman told the court he saw Chance with his shotgun something he kept in his shed with him while he worked, for protection.
Seeing that Chance had the shotgun meant he had been in the shed to get his drugs and had seen they werent there, Lingman told the court.
A property near Kingseat in south Auckland where the body of missing Aucklander Denver Chance was found.
Lingman said he could tell Chance was pissed off although he wasn’t yelling at him. From inside his house, Lingman tired to calm Chance down saying he had his money and that his son was there things that werent true.
Lingman then went to get a rifle to arm himself. He said he wanted to get away from the situation but if he was to be confronted by Chance, he wanted to have a gun since he had a gun.
Lingman said he then left the house, not realising Chance was still standing at the front door.
When the two men were in close proximity, Lingman said Chance raised the shotgun at him.
Lingman also raised his gun and I just started firing. He shot at Chance, without aiming or looking, about six or seven times.
When defence counsel Ron Mansfield asked why he shot him, Lingman said he was concerned he was going to be shot.
I didnt expect to live if he got a shot off.
Police released images of Denver Chance driving in south Auckland during their investigation.
Lingman said he had a number of thoughts running through his mind when he realised Chance was dead.
He said he moved Chances body behind a trailer and laid a tarpaulin over him where he stayed until the next day.
Issues relating to drug-dealing relationship
Lingman said he started buying drugs off Chance soon after meeting and would communicate either face to face or via encrypted phone application, Wickr.
The jury heard that at the beginning of the working relationship, Lingman would purchase cocaine from Chance at $6000 an ounce. That reduced to $5500.
Around July 2018, Lingman had made a large purchase of 25 ounces of cocaine from Chance – costing $137,500.
Lingman paid $115,000 and it was agreed the rest would be paid once Lingman had on-sold the drugs.
The drugs were put into ounce bags and Lingman said he tried to sell them to a friend who rejected the product saying it was rubbish stuff.
Lingman had to refund his friend for the drugs he had purchased and attempted to return the drugs to Chance and get his money back.
Denver Chances mutilated body was found by police in a chest freezer.
He said Chance refused to take the drugs back and asked for the remaining funds Lingman owed him saying there would be problems if he didnt pay up.
At that point, Lingman said he was a bit scared of Chance and managed to mix the rubbish cocaine with good quality cocaine and pay Chance back.
The same time as when Chance left drugs at Lingmans property, Lingman told the court Chance had MDMA in liquid form and he needed to evaporate it.
Lingman said he told Chance he could do it at his house and while there, offered to do it for him.
But the dish he was using to turn it into crystals was over a flame too hot and the dish exploded, causing MDMA to go all over the kitchen.
Lingman said he was working with 1 kilogram of the drug which was at a cost to him of $50,000.
[Denver] was pissed off, Lingman said.
He said to give him $15,000 and it would cover the cost, I guess.
Lingman purchased another 1kg of MDMA off Chance and successfully turned the liquid into crystals, he said.
The trial continues.