Schiefer faces sentencing this month

03 Oct 2013 07:20
WINDHOEK, 03 OCT (NAMPA) - Khomasdal resident Romeo Schiefer, who was last week found guilty in the High Court of killing his parents here in January 2008, will be sentenced later this month.
High Court Judge Naomi Shivute, after having listened to submissions of evidence in mitigation and aggravation of sentence by both Schiefer's Government-funded defence lawyer, Advocate Winnie Christiaans and prosecution representative State Advocate Belinda Wantenaar on Thursday, said she will hand down punishment in the matter on 24 October this year.
The 24-year-old 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.
In his submissions of evidence in mitigation of sentence, Schiefer's defence lawyer Advocate Christiaans asked the court not to impose a severe sentence that would break his client's chances of rehabilitation.
“I ask this court to show some kind of mercy and not to impose a long and severe custodial punishment. The sentences to be imposed by this court should not break the convicted young man's chance of rehabilitation. I also ask this court to take into consideration the circumstances that Romeo Schiefer committed the crime while he was a juvenile of 18 years old,” said Christiaans.
On her part, State Advocate Wantenaar said Schiefer should not be treated as juvenile by the court when it (the court) determines the type of punishment to be imposed.
“Romeo Schiefer took the lives of his parents. And it is unfortunate that he did not ask for any forgiveness during the entire trial. He also showed no remorse for his wrong-doing actions. He showed no mercy to his parents when he killed his parents. The aggravating circumstances in this matter are that he killed his parents with their own weapons. Schiefer has never accepted responsibility for his actions. He also never showed any signs of sadness during trial,” Wantenaar said in her submissions.
On Wednesday, Schiefer’s family members told the court they do not believe he was the one who committed the crime.
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 on Wednesday morning that Romeo was an obedient child, and was not capable of committing such a brutal crime.
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.
He apparently became very angry after his parents refused to give him money, and stabbed his mother with a knife before shooting 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.
Schiefer remains in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison's holding cells until his next court appearance on 24 October this year to face sentencing.
He has served about five years and eight months in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison's holding cells awaiting the finalisation of his case.