Griekwastad: Focus on crime scene pics

2013-03-11 22:33
(Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

(Emile Hendricks, Volksblad)

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Kimberley - The first images of victims of the Griekwastad farm murder were shown in the Northern Cape High Court on Monday.

The court was sitting in the murder trial of a 16-year-old boy accused of murdering Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christelle, 43, and daughter Marthella, 14.

The State warned relatives of the victims about the possible graphic nature of the images. Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo adjourned the court for them to decide whether they wanted to stay or leave.

One photo shows a man lying on his stomach. He is dressed in a blue shirt with the words "South Africa" on his back. There is a blood smear on the floor beside him. He is wearing blue shorts and casual slip-on shoes.

Another image shows a female in a neon green top and blue shorts lying on her side. It is not clear if is the mother or her daughter. Magazines are scattered across the floor beside a small coffee table.

On Monday, the boy pleaded not guilty to three murder charges. Prosecutor Hannes Cloete put five charges to the boy one by one.

The boy pleaded not guilty to all. They include a charge of rape and one of defeating the ends of justice.

The boy's lawyer, Willem Coetzee, submitted there was no plea explanation.

The images of the victims were part of the testimony of crime scene expert Colonel Sietze Albertse, who explained relatively new crime scene technology using a camera that could take 360° photographs.

It is used with computer technology to reconstruct a crime scene in three dimensions.

Albertse explained the software made it easier to get a whole picture of the crime scene, to better demonstrate it.

The software allows for photos of evidence to be displayed directly on the 360° crime scene photo.

However, the ability to manipulate the computer-generated three-dimensional model of the murder scene was raised during cross-examination by Coetzee.

Albertse confirmed to Coetzee it could be manipulated. He said the compiler could put things in the model and take things away.

Albertse said the use of colour codes was to help the presenter explain aspects of the crime scene.

"The point is, the evidence points on the crime scene stay the same."

Coetzee questioned Albertse's visit to the crime scene with the investigator and the prosecution in August last year, while the boy already had legal representation.

At the start of the trial, Kgomo granted the media permission to cover proceedings. The accused may however not be identified.

The matter was adjourned to Tuesday shortly after the cross-examination of Albertse.

Read more on:    kimberley

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