July 15, 2024

“It was me or him.”

Those are the words Jayden Bowden says ran through his head as he fatally knifed rapper Mak Muon in a dark western Sydney park on September 24, 2020.

Muon had broken into a granny flat hours before his body was found near an Emu Plains reserve.

The 22-year-old and his two associates had earlier aimed a handgun at Bowden’s head during a brazen home invasion in which they sought to steal cash and motorbikes.

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Bowden, 25, Zackary Locke, 23, Jake Dillon 25, and Evan Taylor, 28, are all on trial for murder in the NSW Supreme Court after being accused of tracking down Muon for revenge.

Each has pleaded not guilty to murder.

On Tuesday, Bowden’s barrister Tony Evers told a jury that his client acted in self-defence and should be acquitted.

Alternatively, he should be found guilty of manslaughter over the stabbing, which he admitted perpetrating.

“You’d have no doubt this is not a man who actually wanted to hurt someone – he just wanted his property back,” Evers said.

Bowden’s plea of guilty to manslaughter has been rejected by prosecutors.

But Evers said the 25-year-old had no time to think or consider his options and had merely reacted after Muon grabbed his shirt in the park.

The rapper had been armed with a screwdriver at the time, he said.

Giving evidence earlier on during the trial, Bowden described feeling angry and scared after Muon and his colleagues entered his house and pointed a gun at his head and his mother’s chest during the robbery.

“Fear and anger – two powerful emotions,” the barrister said.

“The reality is both those emotions change the way we’d ordinarily behave.”

Bowden struck out at the rapper because of his emotions, which were reasonable given what he had been through, the barrister said.

“This wasn’t a murder,” Evers said.

“Mr Bowden was reacting to the unlawful and dangerous behaviour of Mr Muon at the time he swung his arm.”

Muon was stabbed four times during the seconds-long fight.

One of Bowden’s strikes penetrated the rapper’s chest, entering his lung and cutting through an artery.

Forensic analysis showed his lung would have simultaneously filled with blood while air came in through the open wound, preventing him from breathing properly.

He died within minutes of being injured.

There was no solid evidence that anyone other than Bowden was armed at the time that Muon was stabbed, jurors heard.

The only witness claiming to have seen other weapons told the court she could not remember whether Locke, Dillon or Taylor were also armed and would only have been able to clearly see the fight for a few seconds, Evers said.

Justice Dina Yehia is delivering her concluding remarks before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

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