Paania Lawrence, also known as Paanice Lawrence, with detectives the day of her partner Scott Morrison was shot.
Paania Lawrence, also known as Paanice Lawrence, with detectives the day of her partner Scott Morrison was shot.

Murder accused’s DNA not found on gun used to kill partner

PAANIA Lawrence did not touch the gun used to shoot her partner dead - but her son had - according to forensic evidence, a court has been told.

Lawrence, also know as Paanice Lawrence, is accused of murdering demolition worker Scott Morrison at her Southport home in the early hours of January 3 last year.

Mr Morrison was shot in the back just above the left buttocks. The bullet severed a major artery and remained embedded in his abdomen, the Southport Magistrates Court was told on Friday.

Paania Lawrence the night of the alleged murder.
Paania Lawrence the night of the alleged murder.

Lawrence was on Friday committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court for murder and possessing a weapon.

During the committal hearing, Gold Coast University Hospital forensic scientist Ingrid Moeller told the court that DNA from three people was found on the gun and ammunition.

She said two of the DNA belonged to Lawrence's son Tuki Terangi Lawrence and his wife Mariam Tangarao. The third was unknown.

"It was more likely that Paania Lawrence, (her daughter) Harmony Lawrence and Scott Morrison had not contributed (DNA)," she said.

Dr Moeller said it was possible DNA was transferred from different surfaces, meaning a person's DNA could be found on an item even if they had not touched it.

Tuki Lawrence allegedly told police last month he was the one who pulled the trigger, the court was told on the first day of the committal hearing on Thursday.

Tuki Lawrence allegedly told police he shot demolition worker Scott Morrison. Photo: Supplied
Tuki Lawrence allegedly told police he shot demolition worker Scott Morrison. Photo: Supplied

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He refused to give evidence in court when he appeared via videolink from a prison in New South Wales.

Magistrate Kerry Magee charged him with contempt of court and sentenced him to three months prison to be suspended after he served a month.

The committal hearing was also told how Mr Morrison had a history of shocking violence towards his former partner, Cher Emslie.

Ms Emslie told the court Mr Morrison had punched her in the face on a number of occasions during their relationship between 2011 and 2014.

Forensic officers at Paania Lawrence’s home the day of the alleged murder. Picture: Mike Batterham
Forensic officers at Paania Lawrence’s home the day of the alleged murder. Picture: Mike Batterham

On one occasion Mr Morrison punched Ms Emslie so heard she fell unconscious and was left in a Burleigh Heads street.

She said Mr Morrison had also previously fractured her eye socket.

Paania Lawrence allegedly told police Mr Morrison had abused her.

During the committal hearing friends and family said Paania Lawrence had told them she had been punched in the face and slapped by Mr Morrison in the two weeks before the shooting.

The trial is expected to take place next year.


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