Verdict pending in teen stabbing trial

Verdict pending in teen stabbing trial

THE High Court has reserved its judgement in a murder trial in which a man accused of stabbing to death a 17-year-old girl is claiming that he had in fact tried to stab someone else when he struck the victim by mistake.

Andreas Simon Nehemia Hampudja (32) is scheduled to hear the verdict on his case on November 20. Judge President Petrus Damaseb, who presided over Hampudja’s trial in the High Court in Windhoek last week, reserved his judgement on Thursday after he had heard final arguments from State advocate Innocentia Nyoni and defence counsel Lucia Hamutenya on the testimony that the court heard during the trial.Hampudja faced a charge of murder.He is accused of killing 17-year-old Monica Mweshixwa at Eembo, a village in the Ohangwena Region, on the evening of August 17 2003.In the indictment that he faced at his trial, Hampudja is accused of having had an argument with Mweshixwa when he found her in the company of three other men on the evening in question.He then allegedly stabbed her once with a knife in her arm, and left the scene.She died at the scene due to severe blood loss, the indictment states.At the start of the trial, Hampudja pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.During the trial he did not deny that he had stabbed Mweshixwa and that this stabbing was the cause of her death, Nyoni reminded the court when she addressed the Judge President on Thursday.What Hampudja was denying, though, was that he had any intention to stab Mweshixwa, Nyoni said.According to Hampudja, he was trying to defend himself against an attack by one of the men with Mweshixwa, Dimbulukweni Shihenuka, who he said was charging at him with a knife.However, Shihenuka himself and some of the other men who were at the scene denied that Hampudja was under attack when the stabbing took place, Nyoni argued.She also noted that when he pleaded in the Magistrate’s Court before his case was sent to the High Court for trial, Hampudja told that court that he had stabbed Mweshixwa because he had found her in the company of another man.Only towards the end of those proceedings did he adjust his version of events and added that he had actually tried to stab a man who was with Mweshixwa, Nyoni said.Even if the court finds that Shihenuka had been the initial aggressor in the encounter between him and Hampudja, the evidence before court also shows that by the time Hampudja drew his knife, Shihenuka was running away, so that Hampudja’s safety was no longer being endangered, Nyoni argued further.The motive for the stabbing, she answered the Judge President when he questioned her on that aspect, was that Hampudja could not accept it that Mweshixwa had rejected him and decided to opt for the company of other men that evening, Nyoni added.She asked the court to convict Hampudja of murder.Hamutenya had a different view of the evidence.The dilemma in Hampudja’s case is that he did not intend to stab Mweshixwa, but that his intention was to stab Shihenuka when a new act intervened that changed the whole chain of events, she argued.That new act, she said, was when Shihenuka – this is according to the version Hampudja relayed to the court – pushed Mweshixwa in front of Hampudja while the latter was aiming at Shihenuka with his knife.The result was that Mweshixwa was stabbed by mistake, Hamutenya said.She argued that in the absence of either an intention to stab Mweshixwa or negligence on his part, Hampudja should be acquitted.She added that if the court finds that he was negligent, it should also conclude that he could not reasonably foresee that there was a chance that he could cause Mweshixwa’s death.Hamutenya conceded that it was only Hampudja who had told the court about the alleged attack from Shihenuka.The other witnesses at the scene are all friends of Shihenuka, however, so they may have had something to hide from the court, she said.Hampudja remains in custody until the verdict is delivered.Judge President Petrus Damaseb, who presided over Hampudja’s trial in the High Court in Windhoek last week, reserved his judgement on Thursday after he had heard final arguments from State advocate Innocentia Nyoni and defence counsel Lucia Hamutenya on the testimony that the court heard during the trial.Hampudja faced a charge of murder.He is accused of killing 17-year-old Monica Mweshixwa at Eembo, a village in the Ohangwena Region, on the evening of August 17 2003.In the indictment that he faced at his trial, Hampudja is accused of having had an argument with Mweshixwa when he found her in the company of three other men on the evening in question.He then allegedly stabbed her once with a knife in her arm, and left the scene.She died at the scene due to severe blood loss, the indictment states.At the start of the trial, Hampudja pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.During the trial he did not deny that he had stabbed Mweshixwa and that this stabbing was the cause of her death, Nyoni reminded the court when she addressed the Judge President on Thursday.What Hampudja was denying, though, was that he had any intention to stab Mweshixwa, Nyoni said.According to Hampudja, he was trying to defend himself against an attack by one of the men with Mweshixwa, Dimbulukweni Shihenuka, who he said was charging at him with a knife.However, Shihenuka himself and some of the other men who were at the scene denied that Hampudja was under attack when the stabbing took place, Nyoni argued. She also noted that when he pleaded in the Magistrate’s Court before his case was sent to the High Court for trial, Hampudja told that court that he had stabbed Mweshixwa because he had found her in the company of another man.Only towards the end of those proceedings did he adjust his version of events and added that he had actually tried to stab a man who was with Mweshixwa, Nyoni said.Even if the court finds that Shihenuka had been the initial aggressor in the encounter between him and Hampudja, the evidence before court also shows that by the time Hampudja drew his knife, Shihenuka was running away, so that Hampudja’s safety was no longer being endangered, Nyoni argued further.The motive for the stabbing, she answered the Judge President when he questioned her on that aspect, was that Hampudja could not accept it that Mweshixwa had rejected him and decided to opt for the company of other men that evening, Nyoni added.She asked the court to convict Hampudja of murder.Hamutenya had a different view of the evidence.The dilemma in Hampudja’s case is that he did not intend to stab Mweshixwa, but that his intention was to stab Shihenuka when a new act intervened that changed the whole chain of events, she argued.That new act, she said, was when Shihenuka – this is according to the version Hampudja relayed to the court – pushed Mweshixwa in front of Hampudja while the latter was aiming at Shihenuka with his knife.The result was that Mweshixwa was stabbed by mistake, Hamutenya said.She argued that in the absence of either an intention to stab Mweshixwa or negligence on his part, Hampudja should be acquitted.She added that if the court finds that he was negligent, it should also conclude that he could not reasonably foresee that there was a chance that he could cause Mweshixwa’s death.Hamutenya conceded that it was only Hampudja who had told the court about the alleged attack from Shihenuka.The other witnesses at the scene are all friends of Shihenuka, however, so they may have had something to hide from the court, she said.Hampudja remains in custody until the verdict is delivered.

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