No psychiatric check-ups for murder accused

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Windhoek

A long waiting list and the search for a neuro-psychiatrist were given as the reasons why murder suspects Marcus Thomas and Johnny Diergaardt have not yet undergone their court ordered mental assessments.
On Friday Deputy Prosecutor General Antonia Verhoef told Judge Christi Liebenberg that Diergaardt will only be seen next year as there are 15 people in front of him waiting for mental observation.

Since cases for mental observation can only be postponed for 30 days she asked the judge to defer the matter to the next mentioned roll date, which is December 9, to be postponed again to next year.

Diergaardt, who is accused of stabbing his live-in girlfriend at least 27 times in front of their four-year old son, will for the time being remain in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Services section for trial-awaiting prisoners.
It is alleged he killed Tiffany Tanita Lewin on March 3, 2014 at the room he rented at Erf 427, Garnet Street in Khomasdal. According to the indictment Lewin and her son arrived during the early evening hours to collect some property which the accused earlier the same day removed from her handbag.

He then stabbed her at least 27 times with various knives, before fleeing the scene.
Newspaper reports at the time indicated that the four-year old boy tried to intervene and managed to stab the accused on his upper thigh in an attempt to stop the accused from continuing to stab his mother.

The woman died at the scene due to blood loss. The accused was arrested when he returned to his room later that night.

Also on Friday Judge Liebenberg postponed the trial of American murder accused, Marcus Thomas to December 9, as he too was not examined by a neuro-psychologist, as previously ordered by the judge.

Thomas was diagnosed with neurocognitive disorder by Dr Frederika Mthoko, as a result of a fall he suffered during his failed escape attempt in November 2014. The State did not accept the psychiatrist’s finding that he is unfit to stand trial.

On Friday the judge was informed the psychiatric unit is still searching for a neuro-psychiatrist. As Namibia does not currently have any neuro-psychiatrist, the specialist has to be sourced from beyond the borders of Namibia.
Thomas and his co-accused, Kevan Townsend, are accused of killing Andre Heckmair with a single gunshot in the back of his head on January 7, 2011 at Gusinde Street in Windhoek and robbing him of his cellphone and wallet, containing at 100 Swiss Franc.

They also allegedly imported two 9mm pistol barrels without a permit and allegedly possessed a 7.65mm pistol and ammunition without a license. It is further alleged the accused removed a notebook from police custody after the police seized it as an exhibit and/or burned, destroyed or otherwise disposed of some pages in the book.
Thomas is represented by Monty Karuaihe and Townsend by Mbanga Siyomunji and Verhoef represents the State.

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