A man found guilty of choking his girlfriend to death during an argument has tried to sway his fate by sending a bizarre letter to a judge. Read on Perth Now
A man found guilty of choking his girlfriend to death during an argument has tried to sway his fate by sending a bizarre letter to a judge.
On March 4 in the Supreme Court of Victoria a jury found Adam Margolis guilty of murder, and Justice Christopher Beale will decide his sentence this year.
Margolis, 41, put his 26-year-old girlfriend Mai Vang into a fatal chokehold at his Bendigo home on the night of February 24, 2018.
The killing happened one week after she moved in with him and one month after they first connected on a chat website and began an intense online romance that ended in horror.
In a court hearing on Wednesday, Justice Beale said Margolis had written to him in a last-ditch attempt to convince the judge he wasn’t at fault when he killed his girlfriend.
He said to Margolis the letter “was primarily concerned with your unhappiness about your legal team and making various arguments as to why you were, in fact, not guilty”.
“But that train has left the station,” Justice Beale said to Margolis, who appeared over audiovisual link from prison.
“The jury has found you guilty of murder.”
Margolis was represented in his trial by respected barrister Bruce Walmsley QC, who was not present at Wednesday’s hearing.
Justice Beale strongly advised Margolis to keep a lawyer for his upcoming plea hearing, where he will have an opportunity to make arguments in favour of a more lenient sentence, while the prosecution will argue for a harsher one.
Justice Beale said it would be helpful to have someone “well-versed in legal principles” make those arguments on his behalf.
“I’m sure that I would be assisted by you being represented by a legal team,” he said.
Margolis hired Mr Walmsley after an unsuccessful attempt by a different lawyer before trial for Margolis to be found not guilty by way of mental impairment.
Margolis claimed at trial his previous lawyers “pressured” him into lying to authorities and gave him bad advice to claim he was mentally impaired when he didn’t want to.
He claimed to the jury that Ms Vang “goaded” him into killing her by triggering a PTSD flashback from his abusive childhood.
The murder followed hours of him following her around his house trying to hug her while she moved away from him.
She answered his repeated questions by saying “everything’s fine”, which he said was her “behaving irrationally”.
The argument escalated and Margolis put the young woman into a chokehold for three or four minutes.
He had threatened to kill himself and she said she didn’t care, he told the jury.
After she died he attempted suicide – but not before leaving her body on a mattress on his floor for two days, while he sent messages to her family from her social media pretending to be her.
Margolis will appear for a plea hearing on May 24.