Trial Over Wife’s Killing in Last Stretch

CLOSING arguments in the trial of a Windhoek resident accused of murdering his wife in a shooting incident in March 2008 are set to be heard at the end of next month.

The closing arguments on the verdict that is to be delivered in the trial of Gordon Kennedy will be heard on 31 October, Kennedy was told during an appearance in the Windhoek Regional Court on Friday. He remains free on a warning from the court until then.

Kennedy (33) pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder when he went on trial before Magistrate Claudia Claasen at the end of January last year.

He stands accused of having murdered his wife, Annelie Dolores Kennedy (26), in Otjomuise in Windhoek on 21 March 2008.

Mrs Kennedy died from a gunshot wound to her head. She and her husband were alone in his car when she was shot.

In a plea explanation that he gave at the start of his trial, and also in the testimony he gave in his own defence in May this year, Kennedy said his wife sustained the fatal gunshot 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.

He told the court he and his wife had been married for three months at the time of the shooting. They had been involved in a relationship for five to six years before their wedding, and they were happily married, he said.

On the evening of the incident he and his wife had spent time at the home of a cousin, where a braai was taking place, Kennedy related. The people at the braai later drove in two cars to a shopping complex in Otjomuise.

After they had arrived there, his wife told him that there had been an argument in the car in which she had driven to Otjomuise, that she was feeling like a complete fool, and that she wanted to go home, Kennedy testified. He said he could see that she was upset and angry.

Kennedy testified that he suggested to her that 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.

“She grabbed the firearm and I pushed her hand back and then the bullet went off,” he testified. “I did not pull the trigger.”

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.

During cross-examination from public prosecutor Arrie Husselmann, Kennedy conceded that he had been negligent when he pushed his wife’s hand, in which she held his pistol, away from him before the shot went off. He was negligent, but without knowing that he was negligent, he acknowledged.

Kennedy is being represented by defence lawyer Boris Isaacks.

Source : The Namibian