15 November 2012

Namibia: Suspect in Thirion Murder in Court

A MAN appeared in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court yesterday charged with robbing and murdering Alta Thirion at her home in the Keetmanshoop Noordhoek residential area.

Jan Benedictus Frederick (23), a resident of Mariental, was not asked to plead and his case was postponed until November 19.

It is alleged that Frederick struck Thirion (63) on the head with a blunt object and left her to die on her kitchen floor before making off with a cellphone and a laptop computer.

Thirion died last Wednesday, a day after the attack, in the intensive care unit of the Katutura State Hospital. She had suffered a fractured skull from the blows to her head.

Asked by Magistrate Frans Anderson whether he would enlist the services of a private lawyer, apply for legal aid or conduct his own defence, Frederick replied: “I have already admitted guilt to the murder. What’s the purpose of enlisting the service of a lawyer?”

Frederick later said that he would conduct his own defence.

State Prosecutor Priscilla Shikerete opposed bail.

Shikerete said Frederick had confessed to the murder and had been on the run for several days after the murder.

She added that the police investigator had indicated that Frederick had suicidal tendencies.

When asked by Anderson whether he had any problem with his bail being opposed by the State, Frederick replied: “I prefer to remain in custody because I do not want to continue with my life.”

The police arrested Frederick at the farm Waaihoek in the Aus districton Monday.

Police Chief Inspector Bennie Groenewald said the farm owner, who had hired Frederick to do a welding job at the farm, informed the police of his whereabouts after his photo was shown on national television and posted on Facebook.

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