Anyone on Tinder knows that finding a match doesn’t always mean you’ll actually have a good time with them. But Warriena Wright’s date went from bad to hellish in a matter of minutes, causing her to lose her life. Back in early August 2014, 26-year-old Wright allegedly tried to escape the 14th-floor apartment of Gable Tostee, her Tinder date, by climbing over the balcony after things turned violent. She then fell to her death. Now, 30-year-old Tostee is now on trial, pleading not guilty for her murder. Here’s the full story:
How did they meet?
Wright was originally from New Zealand, but was in Australia for a friend’s wedding.
She and Tostee first wrote each other on Tinder a week before her death and decided to meet.
Though it’s unclear what they did before going to Tostee’s apartment, the pair began listening to music and drinking once they got there, according to audio pulled from Tostee’s phone.
Prosecutors also believe they had violent sex or engaged in some rough physical activity before Wright was locked out of the balcony on the early morning of August 8th.
When did the date go wrong?
Recordings from the phone include noises “consistent with her being choked or strangled in some way,” though Tostee’s defense argued he restrained her as self-defense. Wright apparently started hitting Tostee, who yells at one point “That’s enough.”
She then began looking for her belongings, threatening Tostee and saying she’d call the police. “I didn’t say you have to leave,” he reportedly answered. “I just said stop beating me up.”
According to Tostee’s defense, Wright became increasingly erratic as the night went on while responding to her date. “Are you going to f*cking untie me because I will f*cking destroy your jaw,” Wright reportedly said at one point.
How did she die?
As Tostee got angrier, Wright became more fearful on the recording. After she began throwing items at him, he allegedly tried to choke her and then locked her out on his balcony.
At that point on the recording, Tostee intimidated her by saying “You’re lucky I haven’t chucked you off my balcony you g*ddamn psycho b*tch. You’re not going to collect any belongings, you’re just going to walk out. If you try to pull anything I’ll knock you out. I’ll knock you the f*ck out – do you understand?”Brisbane Times/Robert Shakespeare
Neighbors testified hearing her scream “No, no, no, please let me go home.” Wright then attempted to climb down the balcony, where she fell to her death around 2 a.m.
Tostee apparently tried contacting a lawyer, as well as calling his father immediately after Wright fell. “She kept beating me up and whatever,” he tells his father in another recording presented in court. “I forced her out on to the balcony and I think she might have jumped off.”
What happened to Tostee afterwards?
Tostee was charged with murder. He was originally granted bail in 2014 under the condition he stay with his parents. He was also ordered to stay off online dating sites through trial and be treated for a diagnosed alcohol problem.
On Monday, he pleaded not guilty in Queensland state Supreme Court, over two years after Wright’s death.
Tostee’s attorney argued in court that Tostee didn’t choke Wright, claiming the defendant used “reasonable force” to protect himself.
“She is outside, he is inside and he has caused a locked door to be between the two of them,” attorney Saul Holt said. “What happened in this case is nothing like murder or manslaughter — it doesn’t fit.”
Tostee could face life in prison if convicted of murdering Wright. The trial will continue through this week.
What do you think? Is Tostee’s intimidation enough to get him in prison?