Chatroom killer asked man to care for pets

·3-min read

A Victorian man who killed a woman he met through an online chatroom had trouble "relating to people", according to a former acquaintance.

Adam Margolis has been charged with murdering Mai Yia Vang, 26, in Bendigo in February 2018.

Raymond Leerson, who knew Margolis through a community church group, on Monday said the accused man had strong music and computing skills, but faced difficulty "relating to people".

"He often mentioned having flashbacks and not being able to hold things together," Mr Leerson told the Victorian Supreme Court.

Brian Ellis, also part of the church group, said he called the police after reading a 12-page email from Margolis outlining he had killed a woman and planned to take his own life.

Margolis also asked Mr Ellis to look after his two cats following his death, detailing that money had been left in his will for this purpose.

In the email, read out in court, the accused man said he had an "extremely rocky" relationship with Ms Vang.

He claimed she was "vicious", prone to "delusional hysteria" and "random paranoia" and had physically assaulted him.

"The behaviour was so disturbing and I was in so much pain," Margolis said.

"She had overtly assaulted me so many times now ... that I was losing control and explicitly wanted her to stop.

"Instead of doing so she continued to run into me whilst yelling baseless insults and I blacked out then to find myself on the floor with her in a choke hold."

Margolis later in the email expressed concern he would be perceived as a "psychopathic murderer".

Mr Ellis said he had never seen Margolis act violently and had never felt uncomfortable around him.

A police officer who attended the crime scene in February 2018 told the court Margolis was able to leave the house but appeared to have taken drugs.

"He was incoherent and started to go in and out of consciousness," Senior Constable Matthew Trist said.

Ms Vang met Margolis through an online chatroom called Omegle.

The former chemical engineering student travelled from Wallan, where she had been staying with her sister Pa Houa Vang, to meet him in person.

She later agreed to move in with him.

Margolis became angered, the court previously heard, after discovering Ms Vang remained in contact with an ex-boyfriend.

The accused contacted this man, Alastair Brooks, asking about the "nature" of their relationship.

Mr Brooks said he initially thought Margolis was either pranking him or trying to scam him.

Ms Vang's ex-boyfriend also described the woman, who he had met during high school in Queensland, as a quiet, reserved and intelligent person with a good sense of humour.

"She was a very friendly person. She didn't really have a bad word to say about anyone," Mr Brooks said.

"In high school she was quite shy, a bit timid I guess. Friendly, cautious, very kind. She never acted violently or aggressively towards anyone."

Margolis' barrister has said the trial hinged on whether the jury could find that Margolis intentionally killed Ms Vang.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

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