12 June 2012

Namibia: State Closes Case Against Schiefer

THE prosecution yesterday closed its case in the double murder trial of young Windhoek resident Romeo Schiefer.

Schiefer (23), who is accused of murdering his parents in their house in Khomasdal in Windhoek on the evening of January 18 2008, will be testifying in his own defence, defence counsel Winnie Christians told Judge Naomi Shivute after Deputy Prosecutor General Belinda Wantenaar had announced the closure of the State's case to the judge.

First, though, Schiefer wants to be seen by a psychologist who will be asked to evaluate what his mental state was before the killings he is accused of, Christians said. Schiefer has an appointment to see a psychologist in Windhoek tomorrow, he added.

The trial is due to continue on Thursday, with Schiefer expected to start testifying then.

He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The prosecution is alleging that Schiefer murdered his parents, Frans and Francina Schiefer (both 50 years old), by shooting his father once in the head and shooting his mother nine times and also stabbing her repeatedly with two knives.

The contents of a confession which Schiefer made before a senior Police officer, Detective Chief Inspector Gerrit Viljoen, on the day after the murders became part of the evidence in the trial last week.

Schiefer has unsuccessfully disputed the admissibility of the confession.

Schiefer told Viljoen that he shot his parents at home. He said he was "triggered" when his mother swore at him and accused him of not wanting to learn, of wasting her money, and of just walking around doing nothing.

He said he "decided that this is enough", and went to get a knife from a drawer before he proceeded to stab his mother.

He next went to the bedroom where his father was sleeping and shot his father with a pistol which he had taken from a cupboard, Schiefer said.

Finding his mother still alive after that, he shot her several times and also stabbed her again, he related.

When he fired the shot at his father, he shot him "through the pillow which I held in front of the pistol", Schiefer said.

A spent cartridge was found inside a pillow at the scene of the crime, the court has heard earlier in the trial.

No clear bullet hole was found in the pillow, though.

A forensic scientist attached to the National Forensic Science Institute, William Nambahu, told the court yesterday that he again examined the pillow last week and also did simulation tests on it.

Nambahu said he could not find gunshot residue on the pillow.

Molten synthetic fibres were found inside the pillow, and Nambahu concluded these were highly probably caused when a shot was fired from a firearm which was wrapped in the pillow.

Nambahu was the seventeenth prosecution witness to testify in the trial.

Schiefer has been kept in custody since his arrest on January 19 2008.

Copyright © 2012 The Namibian. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.