Tinder death: Woman fell 14 floors in bid to escape date, court hears
Gale Tostee pleaded not guilty to murdering 26-year-old New Zealander Warriena Wright in the city of Gold Coast, Queensland, in August 2014 and faces a life sentence if convicted, according to News.com.au.
The 30-year-old met Wright in the tourist center of Surfers Paradise on the same night she died, the Queensland Supreme Court was told.
Alleged Tinder killer Gable Tostee's murder trial begins in Queensland today after death of date Warriena Wright in 2014. pic.twitter.com/uWnd1Glq1x— Ellie Petricevic (@elliepetric) October 9, 2016
Though Tostee did not throw Wright to her death, prosecutor Glen Cash told the court that Tostee intimidated and threatened her to the extent that she felt her life was in danger and her only way to escape was from his balcony.
An audio recording made from the man’s phone was played in court, with excerpts from an altercation between the two played.
The prosecutor said Tostee became ill-tempered after the victim threw ornaments and a telescope at him, adding that Wright was choked and restrained before being locked into the balcony.
“You’re lucky I haven’t chucked you off my balcony… psycho little b****,” Tostee was allegedly heard saying in the recording before adding, “If you try to pull anything, I’ll knock you out.”
A witness reportedly heard Wright crying, “No, no, no, please let me go home,” prior to her falling from the balcony some 15 seconds later, the jury was told.
Defense lawyer Saul Holt argued that Wright became aggressive after a night of drinking and intimacy and that Tostee was forced to lock her on the balcony for his own safety.
“What happened in this case is nothing like murder or manslaughter,” Holt said. “It doesn’t fit.”