Mortuary backlog, incomplete report delays case of dad accused of murdering his twin children

2017-05-10 14:15
Mario-César Deus Yela (Facebook)

Mario-César Deus Yela (Facebook)

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Cape Town - Post-mortem reports have not yet been concluded to establish how a Spanish national allegedly murdered his twin children, the Wynberg Magistrate’s court heard on Wednesday. 

Mario-César Deus Yela, 48, is accused of killing his three-year-old twins, a boy and a girl, in a rented holiday home in Hout Bay on April 6 before inviting his ex-wife for lunch and then threating to kill her.

Lawyer William Booth on Wednesday told Magistrate Goolam Bawa that the state mortuary has a severe backlog which has resulted in the post-mortem reports not being completed.  

"I also learnt through media reports that the twins have been cremated, this means the defence cannot do our own autopsy if we wanted to," Booth said. 

Booth said an outstanding post-mortem would complicate the case if the defence wanted to apply for bail. 

"To do that [a bail-application] we would require the cause of death," Booth said. 

Bawa dismissed Booth's argument, saying the post-mortem report should not be of concern at this time. 

Mental health report due

The case was previously postponed because the defence wanted to prepare a mental health report on Yela, but Booth said the report is yet to be completed. 

"We organised with correctional services to have Professor [Tuviah] Zabow visit [Yela] last Tuesday [May 2]. On that day [Yela] had been taken to Victoria hospital for a clinical exam," Booth said. 

"[The clinical exam] is not related to his state of mind. We were not informed that he would be taken to the hospital."

 On April 10, Yela failed to appear in court because he was treated for self-inflicted wounds to the abdomen. Booth later said Yela is at risk of committing suicide. 

Bawa postponed the matter to June 2 for Zabow to complete the mental health report.

Yela would remain in custody. 

Yela is believed to have rented the holiday home for three weeks to visit his seven-year-old son and twins Maximo and Octavia.

On April 6 he apparently sent a message to his ex-wife, Julia Engelhorn, asking her to come over for lunch.

When she arrived, he is believed to have told her he had killed the twins.

Engelhorn allegedly discovered the murdered twins when Yela threatened to kill her with a knife. 

She apparently jumped up, managed to escape and tried to alert a security official at the estate. She also alerted the school which her seven-year-old was attending. 

Yela was arrested on the M3 highway.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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