By Mitchell Clarke
An 18-year-old man has been found guilty of murder after he fatally stabbed Pakenham woman Laa Chol in the heart last year.
A jury came to their decision of murder on Friday 13 September, rejecting the boy’s pleas for the lesser charge of manslaughter.
The Gazette understands the boy, who was 17 at the time of the stabbing and can’t be named for legal reasons, confessed to stabbing the 19-year-old woman but denied intending to kill or seriously injure her.
Ms Chol died in the early hours of the morning on Saturday 21 July last year after a fight broke out during a party she was hosting in the EQ Tower on A’Beckett Street in Melbourne’s CBD.
Despite the efforts of emergency services, Ms Chol couldn’t be saved.
Tributes began flowing for the former Pakenham Secondary College student who grew up in Kenya before moving to Australia in 2005.
“Laa Chol completed her final year of VCE at our college in 2015,” principal Ray Squires said.
“We remember her as always having a big happy smile and being a confident and determined student.”
The boy responsible for her taking the life of the aspiring lawyer will return to court for a pre-sentence plea hearing on 18 November before he is sentenced by Justice Stephen Kaye.