Court told fatal shooting was accidental

Home Crime and Courts Court told fatal shooting was accidental

A Mariental resident, accused of killing a woman in Mariental by shooting her in the head with a stolen pistol, has denied the charge of murder but confessed having fired the fatal shot before Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg on Tuesday. 
Mario Francois Mensah (38) pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder, pointing of a firearm and theft. He also pleaded guilty for negligently having discharged a firearm and discharging of a firearm in public in addition to a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

According to the charge sheet, Mensah killed Christina Martha Adams by shooting her in the forehead with a stolen firearm after she came out of her shack to enquire why he assaulted Bennedine Elriko Adams (Benno) with a liquor bottle.
He is further charged with attempted murder for pointing the firearm at Angelo Amamub and for having fired a shot at him with the intent to murder him. 

He also faces a charge of pointing of a firearm for pointing the pistol at Maria Magdalena Adams, Ella Adams and Ashwin Eldino Adams.
All of this happened during the early morning hours of 23 December 2017 in Mariental, according to the indictment.
In a plea explanation read into the record by his lawyer Illeni Gebhardt, the accused stated the shot that killed the deceased went off accidentally when he tried to ward off an attack by more than three people after he had assaulted Benno with a bottle on the side of his head.

According to the plea explanation, he found the firearm at his father’s bar when he went there with some friends to buy alcohol.
On their way to the house of his friend, he encountered Amamub, who asked him for a cigarette and when he refused rather rudely, an argument erupted between them and he merely took out the pistol and fired a warning shot into the air, Mensah said in his own defense.
While at his friend’s house, he received a phone call from his girlfriend, informing him she is breaking up with him and the news upset him so much that he again took out the pistol and fired two more shots in the air, which caused his friend to ask him to leave, he added.
He further said that while on his way home, he found Benno sitting at a fire and he joined him in sharing a bottle of liquor.

At one stage, Mensah explained, he had to relieve himself and upon his return to the fire, he noticed that the liquor bottle was almost emptied, so he asked Benno about it. After an argument between them, he hit Benno on the side of the head with the bottle and the victim fell down, still breathing but unconscious, he said. 

After this, the deceased and other people, including the complainants in the pointing of a firearm charge, emerged from the shacks and wanted to know in a threatening manner what he did to Benno, the accused said. He continued that after they started attacking him, he took out the pistol to fire off a warning shot, and while he was taking aim, a shot went off accidentally and struck the deceased in her forehead.