Killer boyfriend strangled his partner to death
A man has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend seven days after she moved into his house and one month after they first began talking online.
A jury on Thursday rejected Adam Margolis's argument that he should not be held responsible for fatally strangling Mai-Yia Vang on the night of February 24, 2018.
The 41-year-old put his head into his hands when the verdict was announced, keeping it there for several minutes as judge Christopher Beale thanked the jury for their attentiveness and adjourned the court.
It comes as the family of Ms Vang have released the first photo of the "intelligent" and "happy" woman whose life was brutally cut short.
Ms Vang and Margolis first matched on chat website Omegle in late January while Ms Vang was staying with her parents in Queensland and he was living alone in Bendigo.
She uprooted her life to be with him, moving into his home: "I want to achieve my goals with you, I want everything and more with you," she wrote to him in Skype messages tendered to the court.
Instead he took her life at the age of 26.
Margolis left her body lying on his floor for two days while he sent messages from her Facebook account to her sisters.
While pretending to be her, he claimed to her two sisters Pa Vang and Mai-Seng Vang that she was sick and sent them 'thumbs up' emojis.
He then attempted to kill himself.
The programmer sent an emailed suicide note and murder confession to three acquaintances, asking them to look after his cats when he was gone - with one of the recipients immediately calling police.
The email said Margolis had gone into a PTSD-related flashback to his abusive childhood and returned to consciousness with Ms Vang in a chokehold.
He wrote he was facing two choices.
He could have her "hysteria explode into something involving screaming" resulting in him having to deal with the police, or "continue and end my life after (as I was already pushed to that point)".
He chose the latter, keeping Ms Vang in a chokehold for three to four minutes until she stopped breathing.
He was twice her size, standing at 6'3 and weighing almost 100 kilograms beside her 5'1 and about 50 kilograms.
At the end of their six-hour argument he had claimed to the jury that Ms Vang said to him that she didn't care if he killed himself after he threatened suicide.
He told the court he had spent about three hours following her around the house trying to hug her while she moved away from him, insisting that everything was fine.
He claimed this then escalated to her barging into him with her shoulder in her attempts to be alone.
He told a psychologist she was "behaving irrationally" and "behaving so insane" by saying everything was fine when she seemed upset.
"It wasn't a logical argument that culminated in her death," he said.
Ms Vang was a former chemical engineering student that was recovering from a broken heart when she met Mr Margolis, the jury had heard.
In her messages to Margolis, left behind after her murder, she talked about wanting to move to Melbourne and talked lovingly about her "kind and honest" parents who "only wanted to protect us".
Margolis will next appear in court for a pre-sentence plea hearing on April 23.*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Killer boyfriend's reaction to verdict