Americans murder trial sees another delay

10 Oct 2017 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 10 OCT (NAMPA)- The continuation of the trial of two Americans arrested in connection with the alleged killing of Windhoek resident Andre Heckmair in January 2011 was on Tuesday postponed to next week.
Marcus Kevin Thomas, 30, and Kevan Townsend, 29, made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg on Tuesday morning when they were informed that the continuation of their trial will only resume before court on 16 October 2017, because defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji is not feeling well and was booked off the whole of this week.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef, who represents the State in the matter, objected to the postponement due to the number of State witnesses she had ready for the trial.
The accused each face a charge of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and attempting to defeat the course of justice.
During their first court appearance on 14 January 2011, Townsend denied knowing Heckmair, claiming he first heard the name after his arrest.
According to police, Heckmair was scheduled to return to Europe for studies after spending a holiday with his family in Namibia, but was found dead behind the wheel of a Land Cruiser pick-up at a cul-de-sac in Klein Windhoek on 12 January 2011.
Heckmair allegedly died of a single shot to the head.
Prompt investigations launched by the police led them to a guesthouse in Windhoek West later that day, where they arrested the two Americans.
The police initially arrested the two Americans on a charge of illegal possession of cannabis in order to keep them in custody while they investigated the murder case and their links to Heckmair.
Townsend is a resident of New York while Tomas lives in Los Angeles.
Siyomuinji represents Townsend while Kadhila Amoomo defends Tomas.
The duo remains in custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until their next court appearance.