State Rejects Barman’s Revised Plea

Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa on Friday rejected a revised plea that Windhoek resident Jeffrey Barman, 24, accused of slashing the throat of the mother of his daughter at her four-year birthday party, wanted to enter.

While Barman’s sister was in the witness stand giving evidence about what happened on Saturday November 10, 2012, Barman’s defence counsel, Willem Visser gave notice to the Judge that Barman wished to change his plea.

He, however, did not want to say what the change was until the State had a chance to study it and either accept or reject it.

After the break, State Aocate Simba Nduna, however, informed the court after consultations with the PG, she rejected the revised plea and told him to continue with the original charges.

It is speculated the plea change related to the murder charge and that Barman intended to plead guilty to negligently causing the death of the deceased, as he claimed the deceased, Melanie Booysen – who was 20 years old at the time of her death, was struck when he diverted a blow she directed at him with a glass.

Barman claimed while they argued, the deceased tried to hit him with a glass she had in her hand and when he blocked the blow, the glass broke and she was cut on her neck.

One of State witnesses, Ivan Hamaseb, however, denied that claim saying he was present when Barman struck the deceased with a glass causing a deep cut on her throat.

Barman’s sister, Heidi Barman, informed the court that she did not see exactly what happened, as she only turned around when she heard Booysen scream and then she saw blood spurting from her neck.

That sight made her run through the house screaming that Melanie has been cut, she testified.

She said that Booysen’s father stopped Barman when he wanted to take the deceased to hospital.

“After the deceased fell down on the small stoep, the accused went close to her and her father pushed him away and told him not to touch her,” she testified and continued that Barman then went to his car and drove off.

The mother of the deceased yesterday, however, denied this saying that the deceased’s father was at that stage asleep in the sitting room of the house and that Barman, in fact, went to touch the deceased on her neck and when she tried to intervene, he shoved her violently out of the way causing her to fall down.

The witness, Susanna Aletta Booysen, testified that she was at the barbecue stand when the deceased asked Barman why he burnt the meat and the next moment she heard the deceased scream and she then saw blood spurting from her daughter’s neck.

She, however, said she did not see either Barman or the deceased with a glass.

Barman pleaded not guilty to all charges except for the charge that he assaulted his nephew, Albertus Fransiscus Duncan, on August 9, 2013, when his trial started before Judge Christi Liebenberg.

He faces one charge of murder, two charges of attempted murder, one charge of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm and one charge of common assault.

It is alleged in the indictment he killed Booysen by stabbing her with a broken glass in the neck causing her to bleed to death.

After the stabbing, he allegedly pushed the deceased’s mother into a fence and also stabbed the deceased’s brother, Charlton Swartz, in the face with a glass before fleeing the scene.

Barman was arrested the same afternoon at around 17h00 after he managed to climb onto the roof of a neighbour and then jumped off, fracturing his leg.

He was granted bail in May 2013 after spending six months in jail.

His freedom was short-lived, however, as he was arrested again after he allegedly first beat Duncan with his crutches before he reportedly stabbed him.

It is alleged Barman hit Duncan with a crutch over his body and head and also stabbed the said Duncan with a knife with the intent to kill him.

Barman has been kept in custody since his arrest for the second stabbing incident.

Source : New Era