Medical experts to testify in American murder case

27 Apr 2016 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 27 APR (NAMPA) - Three medical experts who found that American murder suspect, Marcus Kevin Tomas is fit to stand trial, will each give evidence in respect of their findings (psychiatric reports) in the High Court in June 2016.
The three medical experts will give evidence starting 29 June after which they will be cross-examined by the defence lawyers and prosecution team.
This was made public when Tomas, 29, alongside accomplice and fellow countryman Kevin Donell Townsend, 27, made another appearance before High Court Judge Naomi Shivute during a pre-trial of case management review here on Wednesday morning.
Tomas, who is facing a charge of murder in connection with the killing of a Windhoek resident, Andre Heckmair in 2011, is disputing the findings of reports by three medical experts that he is fit to stand trial.
Three private medical experts – psychiatrists Annandale Willem, Tuviah Zabon and Reinhardt Sieberhagen - have each observed Tomas on request by the State and their findings in respect of his status of mental fitness were made public over the past months.
According to findings, Tomas is fit to stand trial and fully capable to comprehend and follow court proceedings without problems.
However, the findings by the three medical experts angered Tomas who wanted a proper neurological examination to be done by a neurologist instead of the psychiatric observation by the three psychiatrists.
Tomas insists that he is still suffering from memory loss due to brain damage sustained during his failed attempt to escape from the Windhoek Correctional Facility in 2014, when he jumped from a tree and landed on the barbed wires of the prison fence, hanging with his head downwards.
Townsend is being represented by Windhoek-based defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji.
The duo faces six charges of murder; robbery with aggravating circumstances; the unlawful importation of a firearm into Namibia; the illegal possession of a firearm; the illegal possession of ammunition; and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
Heckmair was found dead behind the wheel of a Toyota Land Cruiser pick-up in a cul-de-sac in the Klein Windhoek residential area on 07 January 2011.
The two Americans were arrested on 13 January 2011 in Windhoek.
They again return to High Court on 18 May this year for another pre-trial conference of case management review.