Double Murder Convict Loses Opportunity to Appeal

Double murder convict, Romeo Schieffer was denied an opportunity to appeal both his conviction and the 48-year sentence he received in the Windhoek High Court late last year.

Judge Naomi Shivute denied his application to appeal. She said Schieffer did not satisfy her that he has a reasonable prospect of success.

Schieffer was convicted of killing both his parents, Frans and Fransiena Schieffer who were both 50 years old at the time of their demise at their house in Khomasdal on January 18, 2008.

He was sentenced to 28 years on each murder count with eight years from the second conviction ordered to run concurrently with the sentence on the first count. Judge Shivute said in reaching her decision she considered the evidence presented in the trial in its totality and arrived at the conclusion the proven facts are such that they exclude every reasonable inference except the one that proves Schieffer is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. She said the circumstantial evidence combined with the forensic or DNA evidence and the confession Schieffer made to the police all supports this conclusion.

She noted while there was valid criticism of Chief Inspector, Michael Unandapo’s testimony, the contention that he coached Schieffer into what to say in his confession could not hold water “because of the details in the confession were personal to the accused.” She said contrary to the argument of aocate, Winnie Christians, who represented Schieffer, that the circumstantial evidence is not supported by the Forensic or DNA evidence, the opposite is true.

Justice Shivute said that evidence was led that the blood found on the clothes Schieffer admitted to wearing that night contained DNA traces of the deceased persons. With regard to the sentence imposed she said she considered the personal circumstances of Schieffer including his youthfulness at the time of the incident, the seriousness of the offences committed and the interests of society. “I have weighed the three interests as stated above to achieve a delicate balance that must be struck,” noted Justice Shivute who continued that Schieffer committed serious and heinous crimes of murder.

She said he attacked the deceased persons “viciously and mercilessly and killed them in a cold blood execution style.” Schieffer to the end did not show any sign of remorse, she stated.

“The applicant did not testify in mitigation and thus did not take the court fully into his confidence” she said.

According to Judge Shivute the court did not overemphasise certain factor at the expense of others and that the sentence does not induce a sense of shock. “After careful consideration of all the factors the court exercised its discretion properly and judiciously and arrived at the sentence imposed as it appears to be proper and fair in the circumstances” she said and concluded saying the mere possibility that another court may come to a different conclusion is in itself not sufficient to justify the grant of an appeal application.

Source : New Era