Man Acquitted of Murder After Wife’s Death

A WINDHOEK resident who claimed his wife was shot accidentally in his car after she had grabbed his pistol from him has been acquitted of murder in the Windhoek Regional Court.

Magistrate Claudia Claasen found Gordon Kennedy not guilty on a count of murder and an alternative charge of negligent discharge of a firearm last week. The magistrate found that the evidence given by prosecution witnesses during Kennedy’s trial did not show that his version about the gunshot death of his wife, Annelie Dolores Kennedy (26), was false beyond reasonable doubt.

Kennedy’s version was reasonably possibly true, the magistrate found. As a result of that he was entitled to be acquitted on both the murder charge and the alternative count, the magistrate said.

Kennedy was accused of having murdered his wife in Otjomuise in Windhoek on 21 March 2008.

The couple was seated in Kennedy’s car after they had been at a barbecue at a friend’s house when Mrs Kennedy was shot in the head. The shot was fatal.

In a plea explanation given at the start of his trial, and also in the testimony he gave in his own defence in May last year, Kennedy said his wife sustained the fatal injury when he tried to get hold of a pistol that she had taken from the gun holster in which he carried the firearm at his side.

Kennedy told the court his wife was angry and upset before she grabbed the pistol. He said she told him she felt like a complete fool because of an argument that had occurred in the car in which she had driven with other people to Otjomuise, and she wanted to go home.

Kennedy testified that he suggested to her they should return home a little later, but that answer appeared to make her more angry, and he then agreed to go home.

When he started his car, though, she grabbed his pistol from the holster at his waist, he said.

He immediately reacted by grabbing her hand and pushing the gun away from himself, Kennedy said. As he was trying to do that, a shot went off.

When he noticed that his wife had been struck in the head, he rushed her to the Roman Catholic Hospital in the city, where he was later informed that she had died, he said.

His late wife did not give him any reason to want to kill her, Kennedy said. He also told the court that he got married again four years after the incident.

According to Kennedy he and his wife had been happily married for three months at the time of the shooting, and had been involved in a relationship for five to six years before their wedding.

Defence lawyer Boris Isaacks represented Kennedy during his trial. Public prosecutor Arrie Husselmann represented the state.

Source : The Namibian