Novella’s fingerprint found on note left on body at Camps Bay hotel

2017-08-29 17:16
Gabriela Kabrins Alban. (Picture: Facebook)

Gabriela Kabrins Alban. (Picture: Facebook)

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Cape Town - Murder-accused Diego Novella's fingerprint was found on a note left on the body of American citizen Gabriela Kabrins Alban, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

The note on her chest had the word 'cerote' written on it, with what looked like lipstick or lipstick liner, police fingerprint expert Warrant Officer William Rushton testified.

Cerote translates to 'piece of excrement'.

Rushton said he enhanced the fingerprint on the note with chemicals.

"It looks like it [the print] was made with presumable blood. I can't say it was blood," he told prosecutor Mornay Julius.

Defence lawyer William Booth asked if they found any lipstick at the scene.

Rushton said they found some on the dressing table and it was the same thickness.

Novella stands accused of killing Kabrins Alban, 39, at the Camps Bay Retreat Hotel in July 2015.

He pleaded not guilty and was set to argue diminished responsibility due to drug intoxication.

He remained in custody at the hospital section of Pollsmoor prison. Psychiatric evaluation by a panel at Valkenberg hospital found he had criminal capacity and was fit to stand trial.

Rushton, who has been in the police force for 26 years, said Novella’s fingerprint was also found on a Woolworths plastic bag and a wellness pamphlet.

'A bizarre crime scene'

Two prints matching his right heel were found on one of two iPads in the hotel room. The whole screen of the iPad in question was shattered.

He said that Novella must have stepped or walked on the screen twice.

The court heard that chips, sweets and faeces were found on the deceased's body. Chips and sweets packets were also scattered around the room.

Booth said he was instructed that a glass object in one of the crime scene photos was a water pipe used to smoke cannabis.

No fingerprints were found on the item, Rushton confirmed. He said this did not mean that no one had touched the item.

"Would you agree that this is a bizarre crime scene?" Booth asked him.

"It is a bit unusual," Rushton replied. He said he had been to similar crime scenes where faeces lay on the floor.

He added it was unusual to find faeces on a body or chips and sweets.

Rushton agreed with Booth that what made this crime scene unusual was what was found on the deceased's body.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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