MELBOURNE: A man admitted in an Australian court on Monday that he choked an Airbnb guest to death over an unpaid 210 Australian dollar (USD 149) bill.
Jason Colton pleaded not guilty to murder in the Victoria state Supreme Court but admitted to manslaughter in Ramis Jonuzi’s death in 2017.
Colton would face a possible life sentence if a jury convicts him of murder. He would face up to 20 years in prison if the jury accepts the death was manslaughter.
Prosecutors told the jury that Colton knew his actions were likely to kill or seriously injure Jonuzi.
Jonuzi had been subletting a room in a Melbourne home from Colton, who was also a tenant. Jonuzi first rented the room for three nights on Airbnb, but agreed to stay another week for Australian dollar 210.
But when the week was up and the rent wasn’t paid, Colton threw Jonuzi against a wall, choked him with his forearm and punched him unconscious, prosecutor Mark Gibson told the jury. Colton also forced Jonuzi to show that he had less than Australian dollar 10 in his bank account.
Gibson said Colton choked or compressed Jonuzi’s neck to prevent him from breathing.
Colton told police he only wanted to subdue Jonuzi so he would pass out. The trial continues on Tuesday.