Maaka Hakiwai likely never knew what hit him.
The 17-year old had been held in a headlock when his killer, Joshua Horton, speared him from behind with an upward thrust of his blade.
The knife penetrated his liver before slicing through his aorta – the largest artery in the human body.
Joshua Horton has pleaded not guilty to murder
Makaa’s basketball top after being stabbed to death on Grand Final Day 2019
Maaka Hakiwai (right), 17, was killed and his ‘best friend’ brother Nate (left) was left fighting for life
Maaka managed to stagger about 10 metres down the road before he bled out on the footpath.
Moments earlier he had been waiting for a bus with his older brother Nate, who was stabbed twice in the leg by Horton just seconds after he killed his brother.
Nate had tried to kick out at his attacker, but instead copped two stab wounds to the upper thigh, severing a major artery in his leg.
He was lucky not to have bled out too.
The whole bloody affair had taken just 16 seconds.
On Tuesday, a jury of 12 retired to consider their verdict against Horton, who faces a charge of murder and intentionally causing serious injury.
Just 18 years old himself at the time, Horton will likely face years behind bars after already admitting to manslaughter.
Jurors must now decide whether they accept Horton is a cold blooded murderer or that he acted in teenage haste without thinking about the consequences of his actions.
The haunting last moments of Maaka’s life had been captured on CCTV.
He and his brother had hoped to board the 2.30pm bus to travel to the gym that day in 2019.
They saw the bus drive away from the bus stop on Main Road West – in Kings Park, northwest of Melbourne.
Moments after CCTV captured them walking down the street, the pair were approached by two African youths, who cannot be named due to their age.
Maaka Hakiwai (left), 17, was killed and his ‘best friend’ brother Nate (right) were ambushed while waiting for a bus
Moments from tragedy. The Hakiwai brothers walk to the bus stop where they would be attacked
Markers show where the attack happened and how far Maaka got before he fell to the ground and died
The youths had been cruising about town looking to ‘drill’ someone, when they spotted Nate’s baseball cap and decided they had to have it.
Horton sat in the car as his two mates approached the boys and drummed up a conversation.
The jury has heard he had no idea that his mates planned to rob the boys and when he rushed out of the car, he had been blindly trying to help them after witnessing the scuffle.
‘Run me that hat,’ one of the youth’s told Nate.
Then they pounced, grabbing his hat and punching him in the face when he remonstrated.
Crown prosecutor Ray Gibson, QC told the jury Horton knew exactly what he was doing when he rushed out of the car.
CCTV shown to the jury captured Horton bolting from the Toyota Rav 4 he had been a passenger in.
Within seconds of jumping from the vehicle, he would grab Maaka from behind and stab him just under the chest with a 10cm knife.
Maaka was able to stumble down the footpath before he fell and bled out
Maaka (pictured) was fatally stabbed in a quiet street in Kings Park, Melbourne in 2019
He then turned his attention to Nate.
Horton’s mates swiped Nate’s hat before they all climbed back into the car and left the boys for dead.
‘Life can be a matter of chance,’ Mr Gibson told the jury.
‘Maaka Hakiwai probably thought that he was a bit luckless missing the 2.30pm bus on the Spring day … tragically he was far more than a bit luckless.’
Horton has pleaded not guilty to murdering Maaka and seriously injuring his brother.
Mr Gibson told the jury the only acceptable verdict in the case could be murder.
Jurors have only had to hear three days of evidence in the murder trial before reaching today’s end.
Mr Gibson described the case against Horton as both ‘simple’ and ‘strong’.
He claimed Horton was well aware of the plan to rob the boys as he was seated directly between his co-offenders in the back seat of the car they were in.
Mr Gibson said the jury should accept Horton had no lawful excuse for getting involved in the fracas as he knew it was a robbery.
Any other suggestion would be ‘utterly fanciful’, he said.
‘He knew exactly what was going down,’ the jury was told.
Horton’s barrister Sam Norton claimed his client only intervened when he saw his mate go to ground.
Maaka (pictured in his youth) had only recently come to Melbourne from Queensland
Haunting footage from the scene showed paramedics working on one of the brothers as he lay in a pool of his own blood on the quiet suburban street
A jacket was found tossed into a tree at the crime scene
The jury had previously heard Horton had expressed remorse for the stabbings and had asked a friend ‘which one’ when he was told one of the boys had died.
Mr Norton told the jury Horton had no intention of assisting in the robbery and only wanted to help his mates, whom he believed were at risk of injury.
‘He stays in the car,’ he told the jury.
‘It’s only when (his mate) gets knocked to the ground.’
Mr Norton said that alone ought pose a reasonable enough doubt for them to acquit his client.
He told the jury Horton said nothing before stabbing the boys, indicating he was not in on the plan to rob them.
‘He doesn’t make any demands. He doesn’t try to grab anything,’ he said.
Mr Norton further claimed that he had already fled when his co-offenders took the hat off the critically injured Nate.