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Americans’ leave to appeal delayed

2024-01-31  Roland Routh

Americans’ leave to appeal delayed

The appeal of two American citizens convicted and sentenced for the murder of Andrè Heckmair in January 2011, has hit a stumble.

Marcus Thomas and Kevan Townsend want to appeal their convictions and sentences in the Supreme Court.

They already lodged their application for leave to appeal last year before retired Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg. 

The judge, however, remanded the matter to this week to allow Thomas to apply for Legal Aid as he terminated the mandate of his previous Legal Aid-instructed lawyer, Salomon Kanyemba.

During their scheduled hearing before Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula on Monday, Thomas informed the court that he had already instructed Kadhila Amoomo to represent him during the appeal, But upon enquiry, Amoomo told New Era that he had not received full instructions. 

Thomas told the judge that funds were already transferred from the United States of America, but Amoomo said it does not reflect on his account yet, so he cannot accept the instruction as yet.

Thomas and Townsend were convicted of killing Heckmair with a single gunshot to the right temple in Gusinde Street, a quiet cul-de-sac in Klein Windhoek, on 7 January 2011. 

Thomas was sentenced to a jail term of 30 years and Townsend to 29 years, with several other sentences of fines, and alternative jail terms. 

The judge sentenced them to 27 years each on the murder conviction, and four years on the robbery conviction. 

He further sentenced Thomas to N$4 000 or one year for importing firearms, and Townesnd to N$1 000 or six months for possessing firearms without a permit. Both were also sentenced to N$1 000 or six months imprisonment for possessing firearms and ammunition without a licence. 

The judge further ordered that two years of the robbery sentence must run concurrently with the sentence for murder. 

Townsend’s lawyer Mbanga Siyomunji lists 21 grounds in his application on which he says the judge was wrong in his decision to convict, and one on the sentence. 

The State is represented by Deputy Prosecutor General Antonia Verhoef.

Thomas is incarcerated at the Windhoek Correctional Facility, and Townsend at the Hardap prison. 


2024-01-31  Roland Routh

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