State wants conviction of murder with direct intent in beach shooting

Home Crime and Courts State wants conviction of murder with direct intent in beach shooting

WINDHOEK – State Advocate Solomon Kanyemba yesterday asked Acting High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka to convict a man who allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend on November 10, 2014 at Independence Beach in Walvis Bay, of murder with direct intent. 

Jomo Petrus, 30, is facing a charge of murder for killing his girlfriend, 24-year old Louise Ross Shimunu Alupe with a firearm he allegedly stole from his uncle Jason Shali Kasheeta. He is facing a charge of theft of a firearm on that score to which he admitted. He however denied intentionally shooting Alupe, saying the firearm went off accidentally when he and the deceased were struggling for possession of it. 

According to Petrus, he took the gun from his uncle’s safe on that fateful day in order to commit suicide. However, when the gun failed to discharge twice, he decided to take it with him to the beach. On his way there, he went past the house of Alupe and asked her to accompany him to talk about the problems in their relationship. At the beach, he said, he cut his wrists and Alupe tried to stop him. He then took the firearm he had in his backpack to finish the job, but the deceased grabbed hold of his arm and a struggle for the firearm ensued. “I don’t know what happened, I just heard a loud bang and saw the deceased fell onto her stomach with blood coming from her head, he told the court. He said he was bleeding profusely at that stage from the cuts on his wrists, but somehow managed to call his uncle for assistance. That was the last he could remember until he woke up in hospital, Petrus narrated to the court. In submissions on the verdict to be delivered, Kanyemba told the court that Petrus’ claims of suicide was just an afterthought and that he intended to kill the deceased and when he realised he had done so, he attempted to take the easy way out. “The court must find the accused had the necessary intention to murder the deceased, that’s why he stole his uncle’s gun and lured the deceased to a secluded spot on the beach,” Kanyemba charged.

Legal Aid lawyer Mposikeng Dube who is representing Petrus told the court that no evidence was placed before court to sustain a conviction of murder with direct intent. At best, he said, the court can find his client guilty on culpable homicide, because he was negligent by taking the gun with him. He further said the state’s contention that Petrus took the gun with the aim to kill the deceased holds no water. The state’s case purely rests on circumstantial evidence and there is no direct link to prove intent, he said. Dube also told the court to consider that the version that Alupe died as a result of a tragic accident could be reasonably true. He further said the state failed to discharge its onus to prove the guilt of Petrus beyond a reasonable doubt and he must be given the benefit of the doubt. The judge indicated that he will deliver judgment on May 31. Petrus is currently free on bail of N$4 000 that he was granted in 2015.