House arrest of man who paid gang member to make someone ‘disappear’

A 29-year-old man who admitted to trying to pay a gang member $300 ($270) for murder someone close to him, but who later realized his stupidity and foolishness, will serve seven months of house arrest.

Kevin Tram approached a member of the Black Power gang in August 2020, asking if he wanted to make some “hard and fast” money to “do somebody”.

Tram previously admitted a charge of attempted murder and was sentenced to seven months house arrest on Tuesday by the High Court of Auckland by Judge Rebecca Edwards.
Kevin Tram was convicted by the Auckland High Court. (Things)

The victim’s identity is suppressed and felt the shame of Tram’s actions.

Judge Edwards said a low period in Tram’s life led to the offense where he was embroiled in conflict and saw no way out.

However, Judge Edwards said Tram did not abandon his plan and was somewhat successful in implementing it.

Defense attorney John Munro argued that this offense was not in the character of Tram, who was remorseful.

Tram is otherwise a “really good community member” and that was a bad misjudgment, Munro said.

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“He had a major fall from grace,” Munro said.

Prosecutor Katie Karpik said it was a serious offense and house arrest was an appropriate sentence.

According to the summary of facts, Tram told the gang member that he would pay him $300.

The gang member first thought Tram was asking him to “break someone up” or “give him a hideout.”

When he asked the defendant for more information, Tram said he wanted the plaintiff killed because the person was causing trouble.

The gang member told two other people what Tram had asked him to do.

Shortly after that evening, Tram drove the gang member past the person’s house.

That evening, he withdrew $500 ($455) in cash from an ATM and gave the gang member $300 as payment to kill the plaintiff.

In the following days, Tram allegedly texted the gang member, using the code word “car” for the murder.

Eventually, the gang member became exasperated and told Tram to stop texting him, threatening to “crush him”.

In November 2021, the gang member told police that Tram asked him to ensure that the plaintiff was killed.

“…He was coming forward because he heard from an associate that the defendant had instructed another person to kill…” the summary reads.

“I agreed with him to do it, but I never really intended to do it,” he told police.

Tram was questioned by police in December and admitted to asking the gang member to make the person “disappear”.

He said he was going through dark times.

Tram claimed the $300 was to be used as bail and that it would “be expensive” to have the person killed.

The accused also said that after arranging with the gang member, he realized his “foolishness and foolishness” and did not want to go ahead with the plan.

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