22 March 2021

Court hears murder accused's version of night Gungahlin man died

| Albert McKnight
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Jae-Ho Oh

Divorced father-of-one Jae-Ho Oh, 56, was murdered at his home in Gungahlin in March 2019. Photo: ACT Police.

For the first time, the ACT Supreme Court has heard the man accused of murdering Jae-Ho Oh give his version of the night the Gungahlin man died in his own words.

Joshua Higgins, 32, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the divorced Korean father-of-one, whom he had been friends with for years.

He has been accused of stabbing his alleged victim 14 times in the neck and back, as well as bashing his face with a soundbar speaker four times after the pair had a fight at Mr Oh’s one-bedroom home on 11 March 2019.

READ MORE Drinking ‘friend’ denies murdering Gungahlin’s Jae-Ho Oh in frenzied attack

On Friday (19 March), the Supreme Court was shown a video recording of the interview Mr Higgins made with Detective Acting Sergeant of the Unsolved Homicide Team Emma-Lea Beere after he had been apprehended by police.

It appeared that on the date it was conducted, 12 March 2019, Mr Higgins was not aware Mr Oh was dead.

When Detective Acting Sergeant Beere told him about his friend’s death, he had a violent emotional reaction, repeatedly saying “He’s f—ing dead?” before lying down on the ground sobbing loudly. He then began to vomit into a bin before again screaming “He’s f—ing dead”.

In the courtroom, Mr Higgins looked at the ground while seated in the dock.

As the interview recommenced, Mr Higgins held his head in his hands before Detective Acting Sergeant Beere asked what had happened during the altercation on 11 March.

At first Mr Higgins said he could not talk about it because “Mum said not to say anything”, but he then said it began after he and Mr Oh had gotten “really drunk”.

“He kept begging me to drink,” Mr Higgins said.

He said Mr Oh’s mood suddenly changed and he became “really standoffish” and told Mr Higgins it was time to go to bed.

Mr Higgins then claimed when he was in bed he woke up to Mr Oh lying on top of him, which left him feeling “startled, shocked, violated”.

“He was on top of me and I don’t know what he was doing,” he said.

Mr Higgins also claimed Mr Oh “tried to do something the night before”, saying during that incident he was lying in bed and his friend lay on top of him before Mr Higgins told him to get off.

“His lips were on my face,” he said.

The trial will continue next week.

Original Article published by Albert McKnight on The RiotACT.

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