WINDHOEK - Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Alfred Siboleka returned a verdict of guilty with direct intent in the trial of a young man accused of killing his girlfriend near Independence Beach in Walvis Bay.
The killing took place on November 10, 2014.
Jomo Petrus, 34, was found guilty of murder with direct intent for killing his girlfriend, 24-year old Louise Ross Shimunu Alupe with a firearm he stole from his uncle, Jason Shali Kasheeta.
He was further convicted on a charge of theft of a firearm.
He denied that he intentionally shot Alupe saying the firearm went off accidentally when he and the deceased were struggling for possession of it.
Judge Siboleka however said that the wounds do not tally with the evidence of Petrus that the deceased was accidentally shot.
“These entry gunshot wounds cannot be in my view the result of an accidental discharge of the bullets during a tussle for the firearm,” the judge said and continued: “They appear to be direct shots from a person possessing the gun, in this case the accused himself.”
The judge also rejected the evidence of Petrus that he intended to commit suicide.
“If the accused intended to end his life, his own room at Kasheta’s residence was generally and reasonably the most convenient and conducive place to do so,” he stressed.
The judge said the evidence of Petrus that he pointed the pistol at his head and pulled the trigger several times, but it failed to discharge the bullets was an outright lie.
Judge Siboleka said there is no reason why Petrus would engage in a struggle for a gun he “long found” not to be in a working condition after pulling the trigger several times as he testified.
“Testifying under oath, the accused said, for reasons unknown to him, the pistol did not release a bullet in order for him to have died therein,” the judge said and continued: “Suddenly the same weapon again became a worthwhile tool for the execution of his alleged suicide.”
Judge Siboleka went on to say that he rejected the testimony of Petrus as a lie; and afterthought and above all, false beyond a reasonable doubt.
“From the whole body of evidence placed before court and indeed from the accused’s own account of events, it is credibly clear that the accused never intended to commit suicide at all,” Judge Siboleka said.
He added that the act of cutting himself with broken bottles at the scene was an afterthought to cover up the murder and he brought that version to exculpate himself from the blame and possible conviction.
According to Judge Siboleka, the only inference that can be drawn from the evidence is that the accused collected the deceased from her residence, took her to the beach where she later found with him – with two gunshots to the head and that it was he who perpetrated the said vicious attack on the deceased.
The judge cancelled the freedom Petrus enjoyed while he was on bail during the trial and remanded the matter to June 12 for pre-sentencing proceedings.
Petrus is represented by Legal Aid lawyer Mpokiseng Dube and the State by Advocate Solomon Kanyemba.
2019-06-04 08:58:52 12 days ago