New Twist in Heckmair Murder Trial

The corridors at the Windhoek High Court were alive with speculation after the legal representative of one of the Americans accused of murdering Cattle Baron heir, Andre Heckmair, in Windhoek in 2011 informed the court he received fresh instructions from his client.

Shortly after a break in the proceedings which was caused by a power failure at the court, Werner van Rensburg told Judge Christi Liebenberg he received new instructions from his client, Marcus Kevin Thomas.

Van Rensburg however did not go into detail, but asked the court for a postponement to consult with his client.

This also came after the man that allegedly sold the firearm to the Americans was supposed to take the stand.

The judge was still busy informing Simon Muliokela about Section 204 of Act 7 of the Namibian Constitution which deals with witnesses incriminating themselves while giving testimony, when the power outage occurred.

Thomas and his co-accused, Kevan Townsend, pleaded to the charges against them after a delay of some weeks last Friday.

One of the delays was caused by a botched escape attempt by Thomas which caused him some scratches and cuts after he got entangled in razor wire when he tried to jump over a fence at the Windhoek Prison in a botched escape attempt.

After several failed attempts to get Thomas to court, a clearly fed-up Judge Liebenberg ordered the police to bring Thomas to court, with force if need be, on Friday afternoon.

The two Americans face one count of murder, one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three counts of contravening the Ammunitions Act and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.

The State alleges in count one that they killed Heckmair, who was the son of the owners of the Cattle Baron Steak Ranch, by shooting him assassin-style in the back of his head on January 07, 2011 in Gusinde Street in Windhoek.

In count two the State alleges they robbed Heckmair of his cellphone and wallet containing 100 Swiss Franc.

Count three and its alternative relates to the alleged importation of two 9mm pistol barrels without a permit or alternatively possession of the 9mm barrels without a licence.

Count four is the alleged possession of a 7.65mm pistol without a licence and count 5 the unlawful possession of ammunition.

On count six they are charged with intent to defeat or obstruct the course of justice by removing a notebook from police custody after the police seized it as an exhibit andor burned, destroyed or otherwise disposed of some of the pages in the book.

Both pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Both the accused remain in custody at the Windhoek Central Prison until their next court appearance today.

Source : New Era