Laa Chol killer: Teen stabber fails to overturn murder verdict

A teenage party gatecrasher who stabbed a young uni student through the heart claimed the jury got his murder verdict wrong.

A Melbourne woman who was fatally stabbed was “under siege” at an Airbnb party, a court has heard, while her killer claimed the jury got his murder conviction wrong.

The teen killer, who cannot be named because he was 17 at the time, stabbed Laa Chol through the heart at the EQ apartment tower in the CBD in July 2018.

He applied to the Court of Appeal to have his conviction overturned on the grounds the jury’s guilty verdict to a charge of murder was “unreasonable”.

But on Wednesday, the judges rejected the application.

The diminutive woman was “under siege” and was being punched, kicked and restrained from leaving the scene, they wrote.

“The applicant took a step back, produced a knife and, with a powerful attacking strike, stabbed her deeply in the left chest. The blow bespoke great purpose,” the judges wrote.

His lawyer argued it was not open for the jury to find beyond reasonable doubt there was “murderous intent”.

The 19-year-old victim confronted her killer after he gatecrashed the party at the Airbnb apartment on A’Beckett Street.

Ms Chol discovered her phone was missing and a scuffle broke out, when the teen fatally stabbed her.

The boy’s friends were holding her down at the time and after he attacked her, he kicked her in the stomach.

“He intentionally plunged a sharp-edged weapon deep into the chest of a physically restrained, defenceless young woman,” the judges found.

The teen was jailed in December 2019 for 20 years and will be eligible for parole after spending 15 years behind bars.

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