Jayscen Anthony Newby laughed when his mother told him details about his murder of Frankie Prineas when they were reported by the ABC.
“Why are you laughing?” his shocked mother asked over the phone.
“Because it’s hilarious,” Newby replied.
The ACT Supreme Court heard parts of the January 2020 phone call between the two on Wednesday (2 June) before Newby was sentenced for murdering the 27-year-old much-loved family man last year.
But the outcome of the case has stunned his family, who have been left reeling after learning Newby could be released from jail in nine years.
Agreed court documents reveal Newby used to have a romantic interest in a woman, which was no longer reciprocated.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, matched with Frankie on Tinder and they messaged each other for several months.
At about 1:00 am on 11 January 2020, Newby took a taxi to the street in Belconnen where the woman lived.
The woman had invited Frankie over that night and they were in bed when, unknown to them, Newby let himself into her house.
He heard the woman and Frankie in the bedroom. Newby took a knife with a 25 cm blade from the kitchen, went into their room and turned the light on.
Frankie stood up to face Newby, but before he or the woman did anything, Newby began to stab him, cutting him multiple times while never saying a word.
“[It was] a sustained attack with a knife on an unarmed victim that resulted in 37 injuries,” prosecutor Keegan Lee told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
He played the Triple Zero phone call the woman had made after Frankie was stabbed, during which she could be heard crying as she attempted to stem the flow of blood from his wounds.
“I think he’s dying. Can someone please come?” she pleaded to the Triple Zero operator.
“I don’t know what to do.”
Justice Helen Murrell said after Newby stabbed Frankie, he left and drove to his mother’s house, where he put his clothes in the washing machine and yelled at his mother to clean up the blood he had spread throughout the home.
The court documents show his mother used Pine O’Cleen wipes to clean the blood while he had a shower.
He then went to his aunt’s house to buy some time before later handing himself into police. Newby has been held in custody since then and eventually pleaded guilty to murder.
Chief Justice Murrell also read out parts of an email Newby sent to his mother in November 2020 in which he said it was the woman who “set the whole thing up” and that he and Frankie were just “pawns in her game”.
She said Newby’s claim that the woman had provoked him into committing the murder was “outrageous”.
“I can’t see any substantial indication of remorse,” she had told Mr Lee earlier.
Chief Justice Murrell did say Newby, 27, had a hard upbringing, including being raised around controlling and violent men and was socially isolated as a child.
She jailed him for 20 years with a 10-year non-parole period, meaning he could be released in January 2030.
The court’s gallery was packed with Frankie’s family and supporters, and after Newby was sentenced, they began to clap.
“Have a good life,” one called out as Newby was led back to jail by corrective services officers.
After the sentencing, Frankie’s father, Victor Prineas, told journalists outside the court he was completely shocked at the sentence.
“We knew we weren’t going to get justice. We knew it wasn’t going to be great, but we didn’t expect it to be so bad,” he said.
“It boils down to in nine years he’ll be out; in nine years he’ll be back into our community, and hopefully, with a bit of luck, he won’t do the same thing he did to my son.
“He’s lost 10 years of his life. My son has lost 60 years of his life. I can’t understand it. I can’t work it out. We’re all in total dismay, total shock.”
Victor hoped no parent had to go through what his family had gone through.
“If you want to go to hell, this is hell for us. That’s plain and simple,” he said.
“And it will be hell for us for the rest of our lives.”