02 Oct 2013 11:20
WINDHOEK, 02 OCT (NAMPA) - Family members of Romeo Schiefer who was found guilty in the High Court last week of killing his biological parents here in January 2008, do not believe he was the one who committed the crime.
The 24-year-old Romeo Schiefer was last week found guilty on two counts of murdering his biological parents - Frans and Fransiena Schiefer - both 50, at their house in Windhoek's Khomasdal residential area on 18 January 2008.
Renate Snyders, the biological sister of deceased Frans Schiefer, and Albertus Marais, who is the biological brother to deceased Fransiena Schiefer, said in their testimonies of evidence in mitigation of sentence before High Court Judge Naomi Shivute here on Wednesday morning that Romeo was an obedient child, and was not capable of committing such a brutal crime.
Romeo Schiefer was an obedient person and he was always assisting his parents. I still do not believe he was the person who killed his parents even if he was found guilty by this competent court. I know he failed Grade 10, but I still do not believe he was capable of killing his parents, said Snyders.
Marais said he too thinks Romeo is innocent.
I am fully aware that Romeo Schiefer did not do well at school, but I personally do not believe he killed his parents. He was an obedient person, and as such, he was not capable of committing such a crime. Our whole family members, relatives and friends do not believe Romeo Schiefer was indeed the person who killed his parents, Marais told the court.
Hearing continues Thursday.
On the two counts of murder, which were dealt with by the court in accordance with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act of (Act Four) 2003, the youthful Schiefer was found guilty with a direct intent to kill.
He was, in addition, found guilty on a lesser charge of theft after an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) bank card belonging to his deceased mother was found in his possession shortly after the brutal double murder.
Romeo had pleaded not guilty to the two counts of murder and the charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances at the start of his trial in March 2011.
Evidence presented during trial had it that that he murdered his parents by first shooting his father with a firearm, and then stabbing his mother with a knife.
He was arrested by members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)'s Serious Crime Unit on the same day he allegedly committed the crime.
The young Schiefer and his parents allegedly had a quarrel on the night of the incident at their home.
Romeo apparently became very angry after his parents refused to give him some money, and stabbed his mother with a knife, and then shot her twice in the legs.
The father was shot in the head, and it is suspected that he had been asleep at the time.
Apart from the knife, a CZ pistol was also recovered at the scene of the crime.
It was said that the deceased persons were home alone that evening while their three children were out for the night.
All three children were taken in for questioning on the night of the killings, but the State only laid murder charges against the youngest child, Romeo.
He was apparently the last person to be seen at the house shortly before his parents' murder.
Romeo remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison's holding cells until his next court appearance on 03 October this year.
Prominent Windhoek-based defence lawyer, Advocate Wiennie Christiaans, acting on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid is representing the young Schiefer.
Advocate Belinda Wantenaar is representing the prosecution.