Possible plea deal for murder of 5-year- old Riebeek West girl

2018-06-22 16:27
Western Cape High Court (File)

Western Cape High Court (File)

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One of two men accused of the kidnapping and murder of a five-year-old Riebeek West girl is interested in a plea bargain, the Western Cape High Court heard on Friday.

Defence advocate Althea de Jongh, who represents August Pedro-Lee Swarts, told Judge Mark Sher that her client was conducting negotiations with the State after "something new came to light".

However, Sher pointed out that the matter had been postponed previously for similar reasons. De Jongh said her instructions from her client had changed.

Body dumped in the bush

Swarts and Jonathan Heyns are accused of the murder of Kaithlyn Wilson, who was suffocated to death before her body was dumped in a bush.

According to the State, the little girl's mother Yvonne Wilson had been involved in a relationship with Heyns, which ended shortly before Kaithlyn's murder.

He had ostensibly in the past threatened Yvonne, saying he would harm her child.

The State alleges that, a few days prior to Kaithlyn's death, Heyns had accosted, insulted and assaulted Yvonne, and on the morning of July 30, 2017, he harassed her on her way to work.

Read: Suspects handed over to cops after Western Cape girl, 5, found murdered

At the time, Kaithlyn was in her grandparents' care. She was last seen playing with her friends near Heyns' home and he had fixed the child's bicycle.

She was seen entering Heyns' room that morning.

Yvonne had returned home from work and could not find Kaithlyn. A search ensued and she was reported missing to police.

According to the State, Heyns and Swarts were seen walking together that day. Swarts had allegedly been pushing a wheelbarrow and black bin from outside Heyns' home to a vineyard near the local railway line.

Insulation tape wrapped around child's nose and eyes

It is alleged that Kaithlyn's body was inside and that the two had been in the process of disposing of it.

A search for Kaithlyn lasted several hours before Swarts pointed out where she had been dumped, the State claims.

Her cause of death was later found to be asphyxia due to suffocation.

Also read: Courtney Pieters' cause of death confirmed (Warning: sensitive details)

When her body was found, black insulation tape had been tightly wrapped around her nose and eyes. There was a face cloth in her mouth.

On Friday, Sher gave Swarts' defence until July 6 to provide the State with a written proposal for plea and sentencing.

The matter was postponed to August 17.

Read more on:    cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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