Mom disapproved of murder-accused Diego Novella because of ‘crazy ideas and tattoo’

2017-05-23 13:12
Doris Weitz, the mother of slain American Gabriela Kabrins Alban, walks out courtroom with her husband Alexander Williams during a tea break, after testifying during Diego Novella's trial. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Doris Weitz, the mother of slain American Gabriela Kabrins Alban, walks out courtroom with her husband Alexander Williams during a tea break, after testifying during Diego Novella's trial. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - The mother of slain Gabriela Kabrins Alban was not happy with her daughter dating murder-accused Diego Novella, because of his ideas and a "13" tattoo on his neck, she testified on Tuesday.

A petite Doris Weitz, dressed all in black, told the Western Cape High Court that she found the conversations she and Novella had while on holiday over Thanksgiving a few years ago to be crazy.

"We all stayed at the same hotel. He spoke to me about certain things. I spent a lot of time with him, from the time he arrived until very late that night. We had all kinds of conversations," she said.

They drank tequila and wine but were not intoxicated. Her daughter and a friend were only to arrive the next day. They chatted about "Gabi" not being there, but he never said he was fond of her, she recalled.

"I remember the conspiracy theories: Aliens. That we were going to be taken over and they were all around us; money being the root of all evil. That was at night. During the day, it was just general conversation."

READ: Guatemalan murder accused back in court

Novella's lawyer William Booth said those were ideas and views many people expressed.

"Lots of people talk about aliens and there is nothing wrong with them when they do," he put to her.

She replied that it was a little crazy. "Maybe we all have a bit of crazy in us," the lawyer said with a smile.

Wealthy family

Weitz said his view of money was strange because he came from a wealthy family.

She remembered being unimpressed by the tattoo on his neck. Booth said it was trendy to have tattoos, sometimes with different numbers.

"The only time I have seen it [the number 13] has been in gang associations, although I didn't think he was a gangster," she said.

Booth agreed that his client was not a gangster and that the tattoo had nothing to do with gangsterism.

Weitz recalled being polite during the conversation for the sake of her daughter. She did not share her views about him with her daughter because she felt she was a grown-up and had her own life.


Novella was arrested after his American girlfriend was found dead in their room at the Camps Bay Retreat Hotel in Cape Town in July 2015. He recently pleaded not guilty to the murder.

The court heard on Tuesday that the pair had dated for a few months in 1999.

Kabrins Alban got married in 2003 and divorced in 2010 or 2011, said Weitz, but common sense dictated that she and Novella must have communicated in some form over the years.

"Gabi told me that during those 14 years, he kept writing to her and telling her that he was in love with her."

The trial continues.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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