In a landmark ruling, Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg handed down prison sentences of up to 30 years to two American citizens, Marcus Thomas and Kevan Townsend, for their involvement in the murder of André Heckmair.

The murder, which occurred on January 7, 2011, had remained the subject of investigations for several years, culminating in the recent sentencing.

The court found that Thomas and Townsend acted with a common purpose and intent when they shot Heckmair in the head in Gusinde Street, a cul-de-sac in Klein Windhoek.

Although there was no direct evidence linking them to the murder and robbery, the circumstantial evidence presented in court was deemed overwhelming by Judge Liebenberg.

The two defendants faced multiple charges, including murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, contravention of the Arms and Ammunition Act, and attempting to defeat the course of justice.

Both defendants chose not to testify in their defense after the state closed its case, and their application for a discharge was dismissed by Judge Liebenberg.

The judge emphasised that the evidence presented in court, including witness testimonies and corroborative information, supported the conclusion that the accused had jointly planned and committed the murder with direct intent.

The close temporal and spatial connection between the murder and the robbery of Heckmair's belongings further solidified the court's decision.

In the sentencing, Marcus Thomas received a 30-year prison term, while Kevan Townsend was sentenced to 29 years.

Thomas was found guilty of importing firearm components and attempting to obstruct the course of justice, while both defendants were found guilty of possession of firearms and ammunition.



Daniel Nadunya