Murdered girl’s windpipe was crushed – doctor testifies

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Roland Routh

Windhoek-Clear nail marks could be seen around the neck of Benedine Letesia Baumgartner who was 29 at the time of her death, which indicated the perpetrator had used extreme force to strangle her, the doctor who did the autopsy testified yesterday in court.

According to Dr Yuri Vasin, who presented his evidence in the murder and rape trial of Walvis Bay resident Piet Kondjele Nakanene, the deceased also had abrasions or superficial wounds on her face, as well as blood spots in her lungs, which are indicative of manual strangulation.

Nakanene is facing various charges ranging from housebreaking and rape to murder dating back from 2006, when he first broke into the room of his cousin and tried to rape her. According to the State he committed murder after the attempted rape.

Nakanene faces two charges of housebreaking with intent to rape, three counts of rape, two counts of attempted rape, two counts of attempted murder, one count of murder and one count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

He denied guilt on all charges at the start of his trial in February this year.
On the first count of attempted rape it is alleged by the State that Nakanene kicked open the door to his cousin’s room and attempted to rape her on September 3, 2006 in Kuisebmond.

According to the indictment, Nakanene and the victim were socialising and after they went to their separate rooms in the same yard, Nakanene returned and forcefully tried to rape the complainant who cannot be identified.
It is further alleged he used the same modus operandi when he managed to rape another woman, who may not be identified, on April 6, 2013. It is alleged by the State that Nakanene again after socialising with the complainant and other people escorted the complainant back to her room in the same yard where he stayed.
During the early hours of Saturday, April 6, 2013 he allegedly again kicked open the door of her room and violated her.

He is also facing a charge of attempted murder for allegedly strangling the victim and causing her to lose consciousness during the rape. The second count of attempted rape relates to an incident on October 15, 2013 when Nakanene allegedly followed his victim who was on her way home on foot using the route she normally took, which passed nearby the premises where the accused resided in Kuisebmond.

According to the indictment, Nakanene pushed the victim to the ground when he caught up with her and then attempted to rape her.

He also faces another count of attempted murder for strangling the victim with his hands.
After this Nakanene allegedly upped his ante. The State alleges that he killed Benedine Letesia Baumgartner after he raped her in his room in Kuisebmond between March 12 and 13, 2014.

He allegedly strangled her with his bare hands and she died in his room due to asphyxia.
He is facing the charge of defeating the course of justice for allegedly removing the body of the deceased from his room and dumping it in the dunes a distance away from his house, and cleaning the yard of the house with a rake as well as destroying, or in another unknown way, disposing of a pair of shoes he was wearing during the period March 12 to 13, 2014.

During his first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court it was revealed that Nakanene was released from custody on another rape charge just two weeks prior to the murder of Baumgartner.

Nakanene is represented by Mpokiseng Dube, the State by Advocate Innocencia Nyoni, and Judge Dinah Usiku is presiding over the case in the Windhoek High Court.

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