World South African gets life in prison for ax murders of family
Australia serial killer suspected in three murders
Police in Australia say they've identified an alleged serial killer behind three murders but can't arrest the suspect due to lack of evidence. South Australia police made the extraordinary admission in a public call for help for information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect, a 39-year-old man in Riverland in the neighboring state of Victoria."We clearly know where he is.
JOHANNESBURG — A 23-year-old South African man was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for the 2015 ax murders of his parents and brother in an affluent housing estate.
Henri van Breda appeared impassive as a judge sentenced him to three life sentences for the grisly killings of parents Martin and Teresa and brother Rudi in Stellenbosch, a scenic town in a wine-growing area near Cape Town.
Van Breda also received a 15-year sentence in the Western Cape High Court for the attempted murder of his sister Marli at the time of the attacks. She suffered severe head injuries in a bloody onslaught that Judge Siraj Desai described as "cold-blooded" murder.
Hearing delayed for confessed Ohio killer who wants to be freed
A court hearing has been delayed for an Ohio man who confessed to a string of rapes and murders with his brother and now wants to be released from prison. Attorneys for Nathaniel Cook asked to delay the hearing that had been scheduled for Thursday. Cook's next hearing is now set for July 26.His attorneys say a plea deal signed nearly 20 years ago forces the court to order his release this year.The judge overseeing the case asked in earlier hearings that Cook be evaluated further so she could have more information before making a decision.
"These attacks display a high level of innate cruelty," Desai said. "The violence was excessive and gratuitous. It was intended to cause maximum harm."
Defense lawyer Pieter Botha, who plans to appeal the conviction and sentencing, had suggested van Breda's youth and status as a first-time offender should be mitigating factors in the sentencing. He also said his client could not show remorse because he maintains he is innocent.
While Desai recalled that a witness heard a loud argument in the van Breda home for several hours on the night of the killings, he told Henri van Breda that "we have no explanation for what you did" and that he had to be handed the "severest possible penalty."
Van Breda also received a one-year sentence for obstructing justice after the court concluded that he inflicted injuries on himself to try to mislead police.
South Africa's government welcomed the sentencing, saying it "serves as a deterrent to others who think that violence in the family will be allowed in South Africa."
The van Breda family lived in Australia for some years before returning to South Africa, and the judge said Henri van Breda had enrolled at the University of Melbourne.
"Your future was not bleak. In fact, it was bright," Desai told van Breda as he stood in the dock. "You had the support of family and, more importantly, they had the means to assist you in your future endeavors, and it seems to me they would have done so."
California police offer $50,000 reward in long-unsolved murders .
California law enforcement officials on Friday offered a $50,000 reward to help crack the 1991 murders of an aspiring crime scene investigator and her family, hoping to capitalize on advances in DNA technology and publicity surrounding another high-profile case. In announcing a new push to solve the 27-year-old killings of state employee Marcy Jacobs, her husband and her daughter, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said they hoped new witnesses would come forward."Over the years, this case has been very challenging for multiple investigators.
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