South Africa

Two Americans on trial for murder in Namibia

Rustenburg - Two American citizens are standing trial in Namibia for allegedly murdering a Namibian man nine years ago, local media reported on Friday.

According to a report in the Namibian newspaper, Kevan Donnell Townsend, 34, and Marcus Thomas, 34, are facing charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, importation of firearm parts into Namibia without a licence, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence, and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

The State alleges the two travelled from the United States of America to Namibia in late December 2010 to carry out a plan to murder a young Namibian, Andre Peter Heckmair, 25. The motive for the alleged murder plot is not yet clear.

Heckmair was killed on January 7 2011, he was shot in the head while sitting in the driver's seat of a car in Windhoek.

The prosecution further alleges that the two Americans had contacted Heckmair by telephone, urged him to meet them until he agreed, and lured him to the street in Klein Windhoek where he was killed. 

They were arrested a few hours after Heckmair was gunned down.

Two witnesses, Gaylo Kavari and Ashley Hendricks, identified the two as the American men they had sold a gun to in January 2011.

Both men testified that they noticed one of the men had tattoos on his arms and a chain tattooed around his neck, and pointed out Townsend as being the tattooed person they had met.

They testified that they first met Townsend and Thomas in Windhoek on 2 January 2011, after a school friend of Hendricks had contacted him to ask if he knew of somebody that wanted to sell a firearm. 

By the time they met Townsend and Thomas they had got hold of a 7,65mm pistol from another friend of Hendricks. The gun was to be sold for N$1 000, but Thomas said he had a problem with his bank card and could pay only N$500 at that stage, they said.

They testified that four days later, on 7 January 2011, the friend of Hendricks who had introduced them to Townsend and Thomas called Hendricks again and told him he could collect the outstanding payment of N$500 from him.

The trial continues.

African News Agency (ANA)