mericans’ alleged murder trial set for September 2014

WINDHOEK: Two American nationals arrested by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Serious Crime Unit in connection with the alleged murder of Windhoek resident Andre Heckmair in January 2011, will go on trial in the Windhoek High Court at the end of September.

The two – Marcus Kevin Tomas, 25, and the 24-year-old Kevan Townsend – made another appearance before High Court Judge-President Petrus Damaseb on Thursday morning when they were informed that the trial of their alleged murder case will begin on 29 September 2014.

The hearing of the alleged murder trial is set to run until 14 November 2014, Damaseb said as he informed the two foreigners about the date for the start of their trial.

The Office of Prosecutor-General Olivia Imalwa has assigned High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg to preside over the trial.

According to a decision by the Prosecutor-General (PG)’s office which was made available before court in November last year (2013), the two Americans will 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.

Accused Tomas, who is still without legal representation, told presiding Judge-President Damaseb that he will make the necessary arrangements to obtain the service of a private defence lawyer to come and defend him when trial begins on 29 September this year.

Windhoek-based defence lawyer Vetu Uanivi is defending accused Townsend.

During the duo’s first court appearance on 14 January 2011, Townsend denied knowing Heckmair, claiming that he first heard the name after his arrest.

Tomas and Townsend are the only names mentioned by the police so far in connection with the investigation into Heckmair’s murder, which allegedly took place on 12 January 2011 in Windhoek.

According to the 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.

The police said he 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 Tomas and Townsend.

The police initially arrested the two Americans on a charge of illegal possession of dagga in order to keep them in custody while they were busy investigating the murder case and their links to Heckmair.

NamPol’s crime coordinator for the Khomas Region, Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa said at the time that the police had been unable to locate the murder weapon or the mobile phone and wallet containing at least N.dollars 1 000, which were missing from Heckmair’s car.

Townsend told the police that he is a resident of New York, while Tomas said he lives in Los Angeles.

The two accused were again on Thursday remanded in custody at the Windhoek Central Prison, with no option to post bail until their next court appearance in the High Court on 29 September this year (2014).

(edited)WINDHOEK: Two American nationals arrested by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in connection with the alleged murder of Windhoek resident Andre Heckmair in January 2011, will go on trial in the Windhoek High Court at the end of September.

This was said when the two – Marcus Kevin Tomas, 25, and the 24-year-old Kevan Townsend – made another appearance before High Court Judge-President Petrus Damaseb during a pre-trial conference of case management on Thursday morning.

High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg will preside over the trial.

According to a decision by the Prosecutor-General (PG)’s office which was made available before court in November last year, the two Americans will 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.

Accused Tomas, who is still without legal representation, told presiding Judge-President Damaseb on Thursday that he will make the necessary arrangements to obtain the service of a private defence lawyer to come and defend him when trial begins on 29 September this year.

Windhoek-based defence lawyer Vetu Uanivi is defending accused Townsend.

During the duo’s first court appearance on 14 January 2011, Townsend denied knowing Heckmair, claiming that he first heard the name after his arrest.

Tomas and Townsend are the only names mentioned by the police so far in connection with the investigation into Heckmair’s murder, which allegedly took place on 12 January 2011 in Windhoek.

According to the 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.

The police said he 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 Tomas and Townsend.

The Serious Crime Unit of the police initially arrested the two Americans on a charge of illegal possession of dagga in order to keep them in custody while they were busy investigating the murder case and their links to Heckmair.

NamPol’s crime coordinator for the Khomas Region, Deputy Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa said at the time that the police had been unable to locate the murder weapon or the mobile phone and wallet containing at least N.dollars 1 000, which were missing from Heckmair’s car.

Townsend told the police that he is a resident of New York, while Tomas said he lives in Los Angeles.

The two accused were again on Thursday remanded in custody at the Windhoek Central Prison, with no option to post bail until their next court appearance in the High Court on 29 September.

SOURCE: NAMPA