Three people charged for murder of Whakatāne man

By Te Ao - Māori News

Police have now charged three people for the murder of Jamaine Wharton from Whakatāne.

Two men, aged 25 and 20, will appear in the Whakatane District Court today. A 16-year-old youth will appear in the Whakatane Youth Court on April 9.

They will also face a new charge of participating in an organised criminal group.

On Saturday, February 27, Jamaine Wharton attended a 21st birthday party at the Waiohau Rugby Clubrooms where he was assaulted and later stabbed. He died hours later at 2am. 

The Whakatane police area investigations manager, Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Wilson says the investigation team has worked "tirelessly since" Wharton died on February 28 following a 21st birthday party at the Waiohau Rugby Clubrooms.

"The investigators were confronted along the way with people actively covering their tracks and concealing evidence but, despite this, we're now in a position to ensure those allegedly responsible are held to account.

"Our thoughts remain with Jamaine's family members who have been kept up to date with progress and are pleased with this new development."

A Givealittle page has been set up by Wharton's relative, Lana Williams. She says, "He was taken in such an evil way. I just want to show them some love. If you can help thank you."

Williams says Wharton was loving, humble and always thinking of others.

"He was a great fisherman. He was always there for me and so many others, so I would like to try to show the whanau some love. The children range from the ages of almost one to 14 years old."

Wharton was 31 and leaves behind five children and his partner.

He mihi nui aroha ki te whānau pani.