Swartz gets 20 years for killing pregnant teenage girlfriend

13 Jul 2018 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 13 JUL (NAMPA) – A man found guilty of stabbing and killing his pregnant teenage girlfriend at Mariental in the Hardap Region in October 2012, was on Friday sent to jail for 20 years.
Charles Michael Swartz, who was 19 years old at the time of the incident, was found guilty and sentenced over the death of 15-year-old Sara van der Westhuizen on 03 October 2012.
Swartz, 24, was imprisoned by High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka following his conviction on charges of murder with direct intention to kill, assault with grievous bodily harm and assault by threat.
On the first charge of murder with direct intention to kill, Swartz was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
He got six years imprisonment on the second charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm of having assaulted the late Van der Westhuizen on various occasions by kicking her and beating her with steel wire on her back.
Swartz was sentenced to six months imprisonment on the last charge of assault by threat when he had threatened to stab and kill State witness, Anna Maria Baisako, on 03 October 2012 when she wanted to intervene and stop him from stabbing Van der Westhuizen.
The sentences imposed in respect of the second and third charges were ordered to run concurrently with the sentence of the first charge of murder with direct intention to kill.
“The deceased did not even fight back during the attacks and was just asking you to leave her alone. Your version before court that the deceased wanted to kill you first are untrue and are rejected by this court,” said Judge Siboleka.
Evidence presented during trial had it that Swartz was warned by Constable Sylvanus Umati of the Namibian Police to stop assaulting Van der Westhuizen earlier on the day of the murder incident.
However, Swartz went to her parents’ house and called her outside. When the girl joined him outside the house, he stabbed her at least seven times before she managed to run into the house, but he followed her.
Van der Westhuizen died on the spot as a result of the stab wounds she sustained to her neck and chest.
Swartz has been in custody since his arrest shortly after the incident with no option to post bail because he wanted to commit suicide at the time.
Government-appointed defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomuinji appeared for Swartz and State Advocate Dominic Lisulo represented the prosecution.
Swartz will serve his prison sentence at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.
Before his arrest, he has been earning a living as a security guard.
Swartz is a first offender with no record of previous criminal offences.