Komeya sentenced to 41 years in prison

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Windhoek

Gerhard Komeya, 43, a former police officer was sentenced in the High court yesterday to a total of 41 years and six months in prison.

Komeya stood accused of shooting and killing his then 42-year-old girlfriend Kertu Maria Sheehama, who at the time was a prison warden. The murder took place at Hakahana informal settlement in the capital in September 2011. He allegedly shot her with a hunting rifle.

Sheehama was scheduled to be transferred from Windhoek to Swakopmund as part of her promotion to a higher rank.

On August 27 Judge Naomi Shivute found him guilty of murder.
He was also found guilty on a charge of attempted murder for firing shots in the direction of his minor child, two-year-old Lucia Komeya; a charge of pointing a firearm at Rebekka Sheehama, the biological sister of the deceased; and malicious damage to property when he destroyed a mobile phone that belonged to the deceased.

Komeya was also found guilty of defeating or obstructing the course of justice by attempting to remove some of the spent cartridges from the crime scene.

On the count of murder, which was dealt with by the court in terms of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act Four of 2003, Komeya was found guilty.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
On the second charge of attempted murder, Komeya was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
On the count of pointing a firearm at Rebekka Sheehama, Komeya was sent to jail for two years of which one year was ordered to run concurrently with the sentence imposed on the first count of murder.

On the fourth count of malicious damage to property, Komeya was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.
On the last and fifth count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, he was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, and this sentence was ordered to run concurrently with the sentence imposed on the second count of attempted murder.

Komeya was declared unfit to possess a firearm for a period of two years from the date he completes his long custodial term.

“You had the intention to kill the deceased person because you particularly aimed at a vulnerable part of the body ­– the mouth and jaw. The most aggravating factor in this case is that you shot and killed the person who is the biological mother of your two children – Lucia Komeya, two years, and Eveline Komeya, 10,” Judge Shivute said while delivering the sentence.

In May the prosecutor Cliff Lutibezi and defence counsel Monty Karuaihe made their final arguments before Judge Shivute.

Lutibezi had argued that although some minor contradictions were present in the testimonies of the main state witnesses, they corroborated each other in material aspects.

He said the contradictions between the testimony of Rebekka Sheehama during the bail hearing and the main trial were minor and should not play a role in the decision of the court. Defence counsel Karuaihe on the other hand told the court that the whole case rested on circumstantial evidence. According to him the testimonies of the State’s own expert witnesses contradicted the testimonies of its main witnesses.

He said the doctor testified that the shot that killed the deceased could not have been fired more than 30cm from the deceased, while the so-called eyewitnesses said it was fired from four to five metres away.

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