Denver Chance murder trial: Shooter guilty of murder after killing Chance, dismembering body with chainsaw

Two years after Denver Chance was gunned down at a drug dealer’s house and found dead in a chest freezer, his killer has been found guilty of murder.

Jay Christopher Lingman denied murdering Chance, 43, a Mairangi Bay businessman who sold motorbike gear and sets of block-stacking game Giant Jenga.

The defence claimed Chance was a cocaine supplier who frequently visited South America, had dangerous connections, and confronted Lingman with a shotgun.

But the Crown said Lingman’s story was a ridiculous, self-serving concoction aimed at helping him get away with murder.

The jury retired shortly after 11am yesterday to consider its verdict and returned the guilty of murder decision after about 24 hours of deliberating.

Some of Chance’s family and friends were in court for the verdict, along with police who worked on the case.

Supporters in the front row of the public gallery embraced each other and one man yelled out “Yes!” overcome with relief after the jurors found Lingman guilty of murder.

The trial heard from several of Chance’s friends, who said any involvement Chance might have had in the illegal drug trade was kept hidden from them.

When the trial started, Lingman admitted several drug possession charges but denied murder.

Justice Melanie Harland convicted Lingman of murder after the jurors announced their verdict.

Lingman was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on June 11.

Justice Harland asked for a pre-sentence report and for details of Lingman’s previous convictions to be provided.

“I’m very interested to know…what has led you to this position today.”

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