WINDHOEK - A 21-year-old resident of Rehoboth, who had his plea of guilty on a murder charge rejected by both the prosecution and the presiding judge for not complying with all the elements of a guilty plea, was convicted on a charge of murder with direct intent on Friday.
The conviction took place on Friday in the Windhoek High Court by Judge Christi Liebenberg.
Eldrin Goliath was charged with the rape and murder of 16-year-old Camilla Gabriella Steyn in Rehoboth during the early morning hours of November 06, 2016.
He was also convicted on the rape charge, but was only convicted on a count of theft in relation to the robbery charge he faced. He wanted to plead guilty to the murder charge, but denied that he raped and robbed her. In a plea explanation, read into the record by his State funded lawyer, Mese Tjituri, the accused claimed that he “blacked out” when he strangled the deceased. Judge Liebenberg, however, entered a plea of not guilty, because it seemed to him that Goliath pleaded non-pathological criminal incapacity.
Judge Liebenberg said that after carefully considering all the evidence before court, he is satisfied by the accused’s explanation of consensual sex, and him having blacked out is improbable and false beyond reasonable doubt.
He further said the accused’s narrative of events that led up the killing of the deceased was described in fine detail, accompanied by precise timelines. “Anomalous to his alleged blackout, the accused, during his testimony, was capable of vividly recounting the incident in all its detail,” said the judge. Judge Liebenberg also said, “He had a clear recollection of what happened prior, during, and after the incident, except for the alleged blackout. Except for suggesting that he suffered a blackout, no explanation or evidence was forthcoming, which could possibly explain his condition. Neither can it be deduced from his evidence. On the contrary, the accused’s explanation and conduct after the incident tends to show the contrary.”
Judge Liebenberg further said there is no logical explanation for the deceased’s sudden mood change if, as he said, she was a willing participant in the sexual act, but the next moment, for no apparent reason, became violent and offensive towards the accused.
“Despite saying he does not know what happened, as he suffered from what he described as a ‘blackout,’ he recounted in detail how he grabbed the deceased by the neck with both hands, pushed her backwards against the wall and the back of her head hitting the wall hard,” he said before the conviction, adding, “also that the strangulation lasted between 14-15 seconds before he loosened his grip. The deceased fell forward on her knees, gasping for air. He tried to lift her up, but she only became weaker, until there was no further movement. He freaked out, grabbed his backpack, and ran. ”
The judge further said, although Goliath admitted to causing the death of the deceased by strangulation, he essentially raised a defence of non-pathological criminal incapacity by claiming that he suffered a blackout, not knowing what happened, and that he was unable to direct his conduct in accordance with his insight, seemingly due to anger, combined with the taking of drugs, and therefore lacking criminal capacity; no medical evidence was presented to support this scenario. Goliath will return to court on December 12 for pre-sentencing procedures, and he remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial awaiting inmates. State Advocate Marthino Olivier prosecutes.
2018-12-04 09:40:50 11 days ago