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Bail denied for murder suspect

2018-10-17  Maria Amakali

Bail denied for murder suspect

WINDHOEK - The Katutura Magistrate’s Court refused bail  to Johannes Neuaka, 39, the man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend and mother to his child in January this year. 

Magistrate Brigitte Okamaru said it will not be in the interest of the public nor the administration of justice to release Neuaka on bail pending his trial. 

The former soldier of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) faces a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, a count of being in possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence and a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm. All charges emanate from for the gruesome death of Zya Juliet Shane Rittmann, 25, who was shot in the head on January 21.

Rittman was killed in her mother’s yard on Michael Angelo Street in Damara location, Katutura.
Neuaka pleaded not guilty to the charges claiming her death was an accident and thus he should not be kept in police custody pending his trial as punishment, as the court has not yet found him guilty.

However, Magistrate Okamaru noted that Neuaka’s version of events is full of contradictions and is not believable. 

According to Neuaka’s testimony, Rittmann’s death was an accident. 
He explained that Rittmann accidentally got shot at the time when he was showing her a gun that he had just picked up moments after he dropped off their son who had spent the night with him.

However, the prosecution is charging that Neuaka intentionally killed his girlfriend and mother of his child when he shot her in the head. 

According to the state, a 13-year-old witness saw Neuaka pull out a gun, point it in the deceased’s head and shoot her in the head. The investigating officer testified that Neuaka was previously convicted on a charge of theft of a motor vehicle and had numerous cases opened against him by Rittmann who later withdrew them all. The investigating officer further testified the couple were in an abusive relationship where Neuaka would hit and stab Rittmann on numerous occasions. 

The father of 11 has been in police custody for eight months and following the court’s refusal to release him on bail, he was remanded in police custody and will make a return in court on October 26 for fixing of a trial date. 

2018-10-17  Maria Amakali

Tags: Khomas
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