A loving-sick man who terrorized Darwin in a drug-fueled shooting has changed his pleas and admitted to killing four people – ending his trial after seven weeks.
Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann had pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory to having committed four murders in less than an hour at four locations on June 4, 2019.
He also denied 10 other serious charges, including death threats and reckless endangerments.
But on Tuesday, the 47-year-old pleaded guilty to eight of those offenses, including the murder of Hassan Baydoun, 33, Michael Sisois, 57, and Rob Courtney, 52.
He also pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Nigel Hellings, 75, after the prosecution accepted the lesser charge.
The Crown accepted the guilty pleas âin full satisfactionâ to the indictment with 14 counts.
This immediately ended the trial and Judge John Burns dismissed the jury.
The about-face comes days after the defense began, which was to argue that the jury should not find Hoffmann guilty of murder because he had no criminal mindset when the murders took place.
The Crown had alleged that Hoffmann was looking for his ex-girlfriend, Kelly Collins, and a man she said she loved, Alex Deligiannis, during the rampage.
Hoffmann shot Mr. Baydoun four times at the Palms Motel in central Darwin.
Mr. Hellings was shot through the front door of his apartment building about half a mile away.
Hoffmann’s next victim was Mr. Sisois. He was shot in the head in the parking lot of the nearby Buff Club restaurant and bar.
Mr. Courtney died in an industrial Darwin Recycling site about 2.5 km away.
Mr. Deligiannis had already visited three of the sites regularly.
The court has already heard that Hoffmann took methamphetamine during the rampage.
He was arrested after calling the police and admitting to one of the murders while asking the police for help.
In the days following the shooting, Hoffmann expressed no remorse in interviews with mental health workers and admitted that he may have killed innocent people.
He also remained uncertain whether he had killed Mr Deligiannis and did not say he felt guilty during the interviews, but said he was embarrassed.
Hoffmann and Ms Collins met in early 2019 at a drug rehab facility, where the couple planned to move in together after leaving the program
But two weeks before the shooting, Ms Collins texted Hoffmann saying she was in love with Mr Deligiannis.
In the days that followed, Hoffmann repeatedly told his colleagues that he was going to “blow up (Alex’s) head.”
Associated Australian Press