The jury was to retire to consider its verdict this morning. The words "guilty" or "not guilty" bore enormous weight on the 18-year-old's life, his lawyer Mike Antunovic told the jury in the High Court in Palmerston North.
Gilling and convicted murderer Ashley Arnopp were found at a bloodied Rangitikei Street flat on December 23, 2006 - its tenant Stanley Waipouri lay brutally murdered within.
"The accused, Andre Gilling, faces perhaps the most serious charge that anybody can face," Mr Antunovic said.
"I don't ask you to like Andre Gilling but what I do ask you is that you give him a fair go, to give him a fair trial."
Mr Antunovic said there was no solid proof against Gilling and that the Crown was "clutching at straws".
The jury heard how Gilling had claimed he was "body-stoned" while Arnopp attacked Mr Waipouri - he simply sat and watched while smoking a cigarette.
"If I tried to stop him I would have stopped him but I was not there . . . I just sat there and watched him I was too wasted."
But crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk put it to the jury that the two "fed off each other's savagery".
"There is an inescapable unity of actions - joint frenzy, joint savagery."
Gilling stole Mr Waipouri's clothes and changed into them to avoid detection after his own clothes were covered in his blood, he said. And he was found in a state of undress when the police arrived.
"If the blows continued after death that's still evidence you can take into account as being symptomatic or symbolic of a murderous intent."