24 Oct 2013 11:30am
WINDHOEK, 24 OCT (NAMPA) A young man who was earlier this month convicted of killing his parents during January 2008, has been sent to jail for a total of 48 years.
Romeo Schiefer, 24, was found guilty on 03 October this year 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.
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 2003 (Act Four), he was found guilty with a direct intent to kill.
Schiefer was also 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 afterwards.
On the first count of murder with a direct intent to kill, Schiefer was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment.
He also got similar punishment of 28 years on the second count of murder with a direct intent to kill, of which eight years were ordered to run concurrently with the punishment imposed on the first murder count.
On the last count of theft after an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) bank card belonging to his deceased mother was found in his possession shortly afterwards, Schiefer was only warned and cautioned because no withdrawal of money was made from the ATM card.
High Court Judge Naomi Shivute imposed the punishment in the matter here on Thursday morning.
You showed no remorse for the death of your parents. You showed no mercy when you killed your parents, because you went out with friends for some drinks shortly after the incident.
This crime was a horrific crime, because your mother - Fransiena Schiefer - had suffered 17 bullet wounds on her body, and you shot dead your father - Frans Schiefer - while he was asleep, Shivute said.
Your actions showed that you wanted your parents to die. Although you committed the offence at the young age of 18, I cannot ignore the facts that innocent lives were lost for no apparent reason, noted the judge.
Schiefer's Government-funded defence lawyer, Advocate Wiennie Christiaans had pleaded with the court for a lenient punishment that would not break his client's chances of rehabilitation.
Christiaans told journalists in court this morning that he will immediately lodge an appeal application on behalf of his client against both the convictions and sentences within the prescribed period of 14 days from today.
The prosecutions representative, State Advocate Belinda Wantenaar, had earlier asked the court for a severe and long custodial term.
Schiefer 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 Romeo 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.
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.
The couples 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 had thus far spent about five years and nine months in police custody at the Windhoek Central Prison's holding cells, awaiting the finalisation of his case.
He is a first-time offender.
Christiaans defended the young Schiefer, acting on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.