• October 1st, 2020

American murder accused fights for bail



An American national on trial for the assassin-like murder of Andre Heckmair in Windhoek nine years ago is fighting to be released on bail in the Windhoek High Court. 
Kevin Townsend (34) has been in police custody since 2011 when he was arrested alongside co-accused Marcus Kevin Thomas (35). 
State witnesses have testified Townsend is suspected of attempting to flee while in police custody.
Sergeant Maria Johannes from the police’s Special Reserve Force testified that on 20 March 2019 they suspected Townsend tried to escape twice. 

She said the first attempt was when Townsend requested to use the public toilet at court instead of the inside ablution facility intended for inmates only. 
The second time was when he was being escorted to the car that was scheduled to take him back to Windhoek Correctional Facility.
“When I caught up with him, he started hurling insults at me. He told me that he was going to open a case against me for grabbing him the way I did,” explained Johannes. 

The State has objected to Townsend being released on bail, citing that he is a flight risk, which can be attested to by his behaviour since his incarceration.  
Furthermore, it argued, it would not be in the public’s interest nor administration of justice to have him released on bail.  
His co-accused Thomas attempted to flee from the Windhoek Correctional Facility in 2011 but failed. 

The two fellow countrymen face one count of murder, one of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three of contravening the Ammunitions Act and one count of defeating or obstructing or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. 
The State is alleging in the count of murder that they killed Heckmair, who is the son of the owners of the Cattle Baron Steak Ranch, by shooting him assassin-style in the back of his head on 7 January 2011 at Gusinde Street in Windhoek. 
On the count of robbery, the State alleges they robbed Heckmair of his cellphone and wallet containing at least 100 Swiss franc. 
On the alternative count, the two are accused of illegally importing two 9mm pistols without a permit or alternatively possession of the 9mm pistol without a licence. 

They are further charged for possession of a 7.65mm pistol without a licence and count five is the unlawful possession of ammunition. 
The prosecution is further charging the two for allegedly attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice when they removed a notebook from police custody after the police seized it as an exhibit. They allegedly burned or destroyed some of the pages in the book.  According to the indictment, the two accused met in jail in New York in the USA where Thomas paid the bail of Townsend who was in police custody. 

After Townsend’s release, they travelled to Helsinki, Finland from where they forwarded a package to Namibia containing a firearm silencer but was labelled ‘furniture spare’ or ‘table leg replacement’ in preparation of their plan to travel to Namibia and allegedly kill the victim. 
After arriving in Namibia, it is stated in the indictment, they started making enquiries on the whereabouts of Heckmair and bought an illegal 7.65mm pistol. After they managed to contact Heckmair they lured him to the quiet Gusinde Street in Windhoek’s plush Klein Windhoek suburb where they shot him once in the head, according to the indictment. 

After their arrest, the indictment further reads, they managed to remove the notebook when they were brought to one of the investigator’s offices to collect their clothing and toiletries. Townsend is being represented by defence lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji with deputy prosecutor general Antonia Verhoef appearing for the State. Judge Orben Sibeya is presiding.
– mamakali@nepc.com.na


Maria Amakali
2020-08-06 08:47:15 | 1 months ago

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