‘It wasn’t me’, Schiefer testifiesBy: WERNER MENGES
‘HE did not kill his parents’, double murder accused Romeo Schiefer told a judge in the High Court in Windhoek on Friday.
His parents were still alive – his father watching television, his mother washing clothes – when he left home on the evening of January 18 2008, Schiefer (23) testified before Judge Naomi Shivute.
A few hours later, he related, he received a phone call from one of his brothers, who summoned him home. When he arrived back at his parents’ house in Khomasdal in Windhoek, he heard the shocking news that they had been murdered, Schiefer said.
Schiefer’s father, Frans Schiefer (50), was shot on the head and killed in his bed. His mother, Francina Schiefer (50), was shot nine times and also stabbed repeatedly. A broken knife blade was still stuck in her neck when her and her husband’s bodies were found in their bedroom.
The next day, after he had been interrogated by Police officers, Schiefer made a confession before a senior officer who was not involved in the investigation.
He claims that he had been forced to make the confession, and what he told Detective Chief Inspector Gerrit Viljoen was what one of the officers who had questioned him
had instructed him to say, Schiefer claimed in his testimony.
Even personal information in the confession, such as details about his school results, were part of what one of the Police interrogators had instructed him to tell Viljoen, he claimed.
Schiefer told Judge Shivute that it was impossible that he could have murdered his parents.
“I loved them so much. They also loved me. I cannot believe that the Police could say it was me,” he said.
Schiefer said he was being questioned continuously, and the Police officers involved were telling him that, “it must have been he who had murdered his parents. They told him he should just accept that he was responsible”.
Eventually he caved in and agreed to admit that he had committed the murders, he said. “I could not take it any more,” he said. “My parents were murdered the previous evening,” adding that he was in a sad and confused state.
The Police officers confronted him with his shoes and shorts, which they said had spots of blood on them, he testified. They forced him to accept that he was responsible, and told him that if he admitted it he would not be punished, that he would be granted bail, and that he would not have to face further questioning, Schiefer claimed.
Schiefer said he had helped his mother while she was preparing some meat on the evening before the killings.
Previously during the trial, a prosecution witness who was renting a room at the back of the Schiefer couple’s house told Judge Shivute she had heard a couple of gunshots, followed by Mrs Schiefer shouting out Romeo Schiefer’s name, and then heard him answer his mother, before she heard another succession of gunshots ringing out.
Those events as described by the State witness never happened, Schiefer claimed on Friday.
The court has also heard that human blood identified as being from a female was found on Schiefer’s shorts and socks, which were in the house.
Schiefer had no explanation for the presence of the blood on the items of clothing when Deputy Prosecutor General, Belinda Wantenaar, questioned him about that.
Under cross-examination from Wantenaar, he admitted that he had stolen his mother’s bank card and PIN code from her handbag during the day before the double murder. He had taken the card because he wanted money, he said.
Schiefer, who is being represented by defence counsel Winnie Christians, is due to continue with his testimony on Friday this week.