Australia man Gable Tostee, 30, went on trial this week for a murder charge for an incident that resulted in New Zealand native Warriena Tagpuno Wright, 26, perishing from a balcony fall two years ago. Tostee entered a plea of not guilty on Monday.Wright had been visiting from New Zealand for a wedding and connected with Tostee over the dating app Tinder. The pair chatted over the app, with Tostee wooing Wright by saying, “Let’s get drunk together, I’m a pornstar after a few drinks!”
Local security cameras captured the date starting at a beer garden, after which they stopped off to buy some more beer and then headed for Tostee’s high-rise apartment.
Some evidence showing how the date progressed has been submitted to the jury. Tostee’s phone had recorded 199 minutes of them talking, drinking, and having sex. At one point, Tostee can be heard asking Wright to “chill and have a drink,” to which she answers that she was “psycho drunk” and warns him not to “test” her. At one point Tostee can be heard telling her, “I don’t like being beaten up,” followed by, “I didn’t say you have to leave; I just said stop beating me up.”
Wright then responded by asking Tostee to “untie her,” and threatens him with “I will f–king destroy your jaw.” After more arguing is heard, Tostee complains, “I should never have given you so much to drink. I thought we were going to have fun.”
Chillingly, at one point the pair discuss the balcony, when Wright asks if she can go look look at the view. Tostee agrees, but warns her, “Don’t jump off or anything.”
In the wee hours of the morning, tension rises as Tostee is ready to kick Wright out for her behavior. He tells her, “You have worn out your welcome. You are not my kind of girl. You have to leave.” He goes as far as to tell her he’s kicking her out without the opportunity to gather her belongings, and that he’s going to slam the door after her. He threatens her at this point, saying, “I’ll knock you the f–k out.”
However, following a struggle, he changes his tune and then won’t let her leave his home. She begs to be allowed to go home, to which he responds, “I would, but you have been a bad girl.” During this part of the recording, Wright can be heard pleading “no” 33 times.
A neighbor who was awakened by their arguing testified that she opened her own balcony door and witnessed a woman’s legs dangling from the balcony of Tostee’s apartment, and then saw her fall the 14 floors to the ground. Prosecutor Glen Cash attests that Tostee locked Wright outside on his balcony, after which she attempted to escape by climbing down to the balcony below. Instead, she fell to her death. The recording on Tostee’s phone captured her dying screams.
Incredibly, Tostee then left his apartment and ordered a pizza. He then called his father for help, confessing that he was in “a bit of a situation.” Interestingly, he also asked his father, “Why does this sh– keep happening to me?”
Tostee is not accused of pushing her off his balcony or causing her death deliberately in any way. He is charged with scaring her to the point that she felt she had no choice but to attempt the dangerous escape from the locked balcony on which she was trapped. If that were the case, the prosecution attests that he is therefore responsible for her death. Tostee claims that he “restrained her” on his locked balcony in self-defense, due to her violent actions toward him.
Wright’s blood alcohol level was found to be .156. Her last words were “just let me go home.”
Main photos: Gable Tostee leaving the court [9News screenshot]. Inset: Warriena Wright [Queensland Police].