Woman faces murder over last year’s Lau Valley killing


The case of a woman who told her husband to kill another man at Lau Valley area December last year was mentioned in the Magistrate Court yesterday before Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea.

Zilma Ben is charged with one count of murder and aiding and abetting.

The state prosecutor Monica Rehamora told court that investigation is complete and crown is waiting for the accused to confirm her legal representation for disclosures to be served. 

Public Solicitor defence counsel appeared in court yesterday told court that Lazarus Waroka is the legal representative of Zilma Ben.

Court suspended for July 3 for mention and possible plea to the charge. Disclosures to be served during the course of adjournment.

It was alleged in the early hours of December 17, 2023 between 1am and 2am Nelson Magi the (first accused) and his wife Zilma Ben (second accused) and another female were on their way back to Jackson ridge after attending a party at Lau Valley.

They stopped on the main road next to Lau Valley SDA church.

They were drunk, loud and arguing with each other.

Opposite of the church was a group of people sitting down telling stories under a tent.

The (first accused) Nelson Magi turned to the group of people who were sitting under the tent and said “which of you is strong?” and one of the people in the tent answered him by saying “no one here is strong”.

Magi approached them, grabbed a chair and threw it with force to the person who talked back to him earlier.

The deceased’s niece ran back to the house and woke up the deceased who was sleeping at that time.

The deceased went to the scene and tried to separate the first accused and the other person from arguing.

The deceased lead Magi away from further confrontations. However, Magi assaulted the deceased by applying a front snap kick at him causing him to fell backwards at a distance.

The Magi then walked away towards his wife, Zilma Ben.

Zilma Ben shouted at her husband Magi loudly and aggressively saying “go back and kill the deceased”.  

Whilst shouting, she also threw stones at the deceased’s house.

Magi turned back and attacked the deceased on the rib/chest area with a piece of timber.

The deceased lost balance and fell down unconsciously on the ground.

He was rushed to the National Referral Hospital (NRH) but was pronounced dead.

Steward Tonowane acts for crown and Lazuaus Waroka act for Ben.

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