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The Van Breda murder trial

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I've been trying to be objective but it is getting difficult as the prosecution makes a good case. The defense started off strong but I feel they are lacking their vigor lately.

 

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Today in court we heard that Henri van Breda is fast running out of money to support his case.

 

The blood spatter expert is still ill and is unavailable to testify. He is apparently the final witness for the state.

(from which I then presume the defence will call Marli)

 

The state asked for postponement as their expert is ill. Botha objected to this, referring to their own expert they had flown in, incurring costs.

 

Desai decided in favor of the state. The case is postponed until 11 September.

 

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I don't follow to news all that much, but has this "expert" died or something, surely a person can be ill for this long?

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Day 36, an interesting day in court. Captain Marius Joubert took the stand after being ill. He has 27 years experience in the police force. He has been a crime scene investigator since 1993.

 

Blood stain pattern analysis delivers crucial information on how a crime was committed. On 27 January 2015, Colonel Benecke asked Joubert to go to 12 Goske Street to analyze blood. All the blood stains belonged to the victims. 

 

Credit to News24 for the following notes on all the blood stains that were noted in court today:

- Non spatter on the tile floor at front door entrance.

 

- Transfer blood stain, suggests contact. Probably created by contact from the object onto the tile floor.

 

- Non spatter on the tile floor at front door tile, regular shape, no reconcilable pattern.

 

- Transfer blood stain. Probably created between object and tile floor, resulting in a transfer.

 

- Non spatter on the tile floor at front door entrance, regular shape, recognizable stain, probably created from the blanket of EMS and dropped onto the tile floor.

 

- Carpet in front of the staircase leading to the bedroom. Irregular margin randomly distributed blood drops. Probably created from blood dripping from the first floor onto carpet from the first floor (Probably from top floor to ground floor)

 

- Spatter on the kitchen door, elliptical stain, not possible to find the mechanism responsible. No DNA could be obtained from that sample.

 

- Spatter stains on the staircase, circular and linear, classified as a drip. blood result of a source of motion. 

 

- Blood spatter stain on Teresa Van Breda right leg. Random.

 

- Blood spatter on buttocks of Teresa, circular shape, dripping from a moving object in this area.

 

-  Non-spatter on the tile floor on first-floor passageway. Regular shape stains, from a source object. Classified as pattern transfer. Probably created between an EMS stretcher and tiled floor.

 

- Spatter on the tiled floor of the first floor, drip. Probably blood dripping from a moving object.

 

- Spatter stain on front aspect of the cabinet in the passage. Classified as an impact spatter pattern. Probably a result of a force applied.

 

- Non spatter on the front of the cabinet in the passage. Described as irregular shape and no recognizable pattern. Swipe patterns. Probably created between blood stained object and surface. Marli's blood.

 

-  Non spatter on the cabinet on the first floor, irregular shape, no recognizable pattern. Probably made by blood stained fingertips of EMS personnel while assisting Marli van Breda.

 

- Spatter on the tile floor in front of Henri's room. Elliptical. Impact spatter. Probably caused by force applied to something traveling through the air and resulting in an impact.

 

- Spatter on the bedroom door.

 

- Headboard spatter suggests an impact possible. Created by force applied a blunt force which resulted in a spattering of small droplets. Henri's blood.

 

- Wall spatter against the wall, probably caused by a bloody object. 

 

- Spatter on bedroom wall, possibly caused by projection

 

- Spatter on the wall next to Rudi. Elliptical, impact spatter pattern. Probably force applied to blood source on the bed, creating an impact spatter pattern. Rudi's blood.

 

- Henri's blood found bedroom carpet. Swipe stain (indicating movement).

 

- Non-splatter blood stains on the floor of Rudi/Henri's bedroom. Complex splatter. Blood clots present in blood stains, Rudi's blood.

 

- Non-splatter blood stain in their bedroom. Contact stain, created by Rudi or a hair like an object covered in the victim's blood.

 

- Spatter stains on the staircase wall. Linear, probably caused by blood bearing object striking staircase wall. Rudi van Breda's blood.

 

Rudi and Maritn's blood in spattering on another part of the wall.

 

- Wall adjacent to the wall of boys bedroom: can't define mechanism, suggests impact or projection. Teresa's blood.

 

- Spatter on wall/door frame droplet may be the result of projection.

 

This goes on for a good long while as Joubert laboriously explained the spatters. 

 

There was blood found on the shower door handle, tap, door, wall and floor. The blood belonged to Teresa, Rudi, and Henri. 

 

Henri's gray shorts had various blood spatter stains on the front. Stains found on Henri's shorts: five stains belong to Rudi, 9 to Henri, 5 to Martin, 3 mixed samples. None belonged to Marli. Also possible urine stains on the shorts.

 

There were multiple spatter stains on Henri's socks. Joubert says the force was applied to a source, traveled through the air and landed on the socks. Blood samples found on the top and sides of Henri Van Breda's socks - 9 from Rudi, 1 from Martin, 1 from Teresa and 2 from Henri.

 

A number of stains on the scene were made by EMS personnel. 

 

Blood stain pattern suggests Rudi was grabbed or moved from the bed over the carpet between the beds towards the door. Blood stain pattern suggests Rudi was moved through the pool of blood which resulted in the creation of swipe and wipe patterns. Rudi's blood had time to clot before he was moved, time passed before his upper body on the bed was disturbed, Joubert said.

 

The most interesting part of today came right at the end when Joubert said, Henri's gray shorts were in close proximity to the blood sources of Rudi and Martin. His socks were in close proximity to the blood sources of Teresa and Rudi. 

 

The court is adjourned until tomorrow.

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Day 37 not a whole lot has happened.

 

Joubert continued his testimony. He said that Martin was probably attending to his injured son, Rudi, when he was attacked.

 

Blood spatter suggests Teresa was in the doorway of Henri and Rudi's room when she was attacked, facing her attacker.

 

Henri's version of being in the doorway of the bathroom when Rudi was attacked is being disputed by Joubert, saying that blood spatter places Henri next to the bed. The blood spatter shows him in close proximity and not in a slightly ajar doorway. There is also no blood spatter on the door or the walls.

 

Blood stain evidence on the knife is also not consistent with Henri's plea explanation. The mixed blood in the bathroom is thought to be of a cleanup session. Containing the blood of Teresa, Rudi and Martin. Also of which there is no mention in Henri's plea.

 

Joubert also says the flow patterns of the blood on Henri's upper body does not support his fainting and falling down the stairs version.

 

Joubert said "It is my conclusion that the evidence does not support the actions/events described in Henri's statement" he also said he can't rule out that the scene was staged.

 

According to Henri he was in the bedroom when Teresa was attacked, however, blood spatter is on his shorts and socks and it is impossible for blood spatter to travel from the passage around the wall of the bedroom to where he stood. Joubert believes Henri was in view of the attack on his mother.

 

Joubert thought that with the throwing of the axe he would find blood spatters further up the wall and more distributed but there wasn't.

 

Joubert said he has no explanation for the moving of Rudi's body, or the knife under the bed.

 

Desai asked why there was no trace of Marli's blood. Joubert said it's possible because of the distribution of her injuries all over her head and not to just one spot.

 

Joubert said it's presumptive to think the blood on the shorts could have happened when the EMS were there. He also said from Henri apparently being unconscious on the stairs, some blood did transfer.

 

The court is adjourned until tomorrow.

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Day 38 of the trial. Joubert continued his testimony for the third day.

 

Botha continued his cross examination if the state's witness. Joubert said that when they arrived on the scene, the blood on the axe was still liquid enough to run down the handle.

 

Botha then said that there was a foreign allele found near Marli in a sample. Joubert said he could not comment on this as he was not a DNA analyst but a blood spatter specialist.

 

Botha questioned the fact that Rudi's blood went out the window and landed on the neighbor's wall. He asked whether there should then not be blood on the frames of the window or the lampshade. To which Joubert replied that they can't collect every single spot on the scene, he does not remember. Advocate Botha maintains his stance that the blood had dripped in the path of flight.

 

According to Henri it was not strange for the family members to use each other's bathrooms. Advocate Botha asked if this could explain the blood in the shower. Joubert said it could. (but honestly who goes to bleed in someone else's shower?)

 

No DNA of Marli van Breda was found on Henri's shorts or socks or the axe. Captain Joubert said he can't exactly explain this. Desai asked him to do his best to which Joubert said the axe could possibly have been cleaned, as well as the fact that Marli's wounds are distributed, creating new wounds would result in minimum blood transfer. Joubert concedes it is nearly impossible that Marli's blood would not be on the axe.

 

Advocate Botha said that according to Henri there were two attackers, this could explain the absence of blood and why there is no DNA of her found on Henri. Joubert said "Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence."

 

The neurosurgeon who treated Marli said in an affidavit that the then 16 year old suffered five deep lacerations on her head, one on her wrist, and one on her neck.

 

Captain Joubert said that the blood from Marli's attack would go away from the attacker. Position and other variables would influence this.

 

No blood of Henri was found on any of the victims, nor on either duvets. Botha hammered on that there were unidentified stains. Desai clarified that unidentified does not mean an unknown person. A definitive answer on which of the family's it is could not be found.

 

The court resumes tomorrow.

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I miss watching Dexter, this trial would have been over long ago if he was involved and Herni would have been part of his blood collection.

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Day 39 and we got Captain Joubert back on the stand for further cross examination by the defence.

 

Advocate Botha asked Joubert what the probability is that Henri cleaned himself up. Joubert said that this is a possibility.

 

Botha and Joubert then continued to argue about Henri's throwing the axe without rotation, not causing the blood spatter Joubert thought he would find. Joubert kept his stance that he believes the axe was not thrown.

 

Botha said it is not clear where Henri was when he threw the axe so it would be inaccurate to make assumptions about whether it was hit or thrown into the wall.

 

Advocate Botha then referred to Joubert's finding that Rudi's body was moved. From day 1 Henri stood by it that Rudi was attacked on the bed. The suggestion here is that Henri van Breda manipulated the scene. Botha asked Joubert how it would be logical for Henri to move his body? Joubert said that he does not know.

 

Botha then referred to the bloody fingerprints of Rudi on the bed base and said they either got there while he was dead or incapacitated or he did them himself. Joubert conceded that this is possible. If Rudi was not dead he could have moved and caused the bloody marks himself.

 

Joubert said it is possible that Henri harbored a lot of anger towards Rudi and that's why only his position is manipulated. He showed his anger by pushing or dragging Rudi around.

 

The previous expert, Perumal, said that Rudi could still have lived up to 2 hours and 40 minutes. Joubert said that the amount of blood indicates that Rudi died on the bed. Botha then asked if he could still have lived for so long could he have moved himself? To which Joubert replied that the blood stains don't concur with that.

 

The court is adjourned until Monday when Joubert's cross examination will continue.

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Today in court Captain Joubert was still being cross examined. Advocate Botha was asking about the blood flow on Henri's chest and of his forearm wounds. Botha showed a photo of blood on Henri's chest that deviates slightly to the left. Joubert said the reason for this could be from running after his attacker, his fall, fainting.

 

Joubert described the blood from his forearm wounds as both a flowing and a smear. Botha suggested this could be from falling and brushing against something.

 

There are numerous flow patterns on the face of Rudi van Breda, not all going the same direction. Joubert said he can't confirm which was created first. Joubert says deviations can be caused by saturation in his hair and the contours of his face. He said Rudi could have changed position after the first blow for the blood to flow in a different direction, he was lying on his back for a while to create the amount of blood. And quite possibly created some wipe patterns in his blood himself.

 

There are three transfer patterns: the plug, the wall and the bathroom entrance. Botha then said that Rudi was dead when his head pushed against the wall in the three places. Joubert agreed. Botha said but this is impossible for Henri would have been standing in the blood and there was no blood beneath his socks. Joubert argued that Rudi could have been dragged by his feet and this could explain the movement of his arms. There are many possibilities.

 

Botha wanted to know where the drag marks were. Joubert said for two thirds of the stain there is none but there are signs of it in the last part of the stain. Joubert said he didn't find any bloody marks on Rudi only smears from a bloody object making contact with the skin.

 

Botha asked where the anger comes from? Joubert said it's an opinion, and that he is not a behavioral analyst.

 

They moved on to the beginning of Henri's plea explanation, that he was on the toilet, not bothering to flush. There is a photo of the contents of the toilet. Henri heard more than one person in the house.

 

Botha then refers to pictures of the bedding after the crime, the bedding seems to be mistakenly have been switched according to notes. Joubert then referred to evidence photos which correspond with his labeling.

 

Galloway then reexamines Joubert. She asks if Henri made a call at 4:24 what the blood pools would have looked like? Joubert said that they would be liquid.

Galloway also asked for signs of someone fleeing? Joubert said there were no unidentified shoe prints, no blood drips from a weapon and there is no sign Marli was attacked with a different axe. Joubert said Marli's blood could have been missed when taking the swabs.

 

Joubert also said he asked during the investigation for an indication where Henri fell on the stairs but his reps wouldn't give more information. Also no information when he asked where Henri stood when he threw the axe.

 

The state then said Marli expressed she does not want to be made available to the defence, confirms that she still suffers from memory loss. She will not be testifying I'm the trial.

 

The case is adjourned until Thursday.

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Oh fiddlesticks, no Marli testifying makes for one sad panda.

 

I thought you would be quite despondent, as am I. What a sad day. It seems the trial is coming to a close though.

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Close, are you certain, it looks rather jumbled and scattered in it's current form from my point of view.

 

If I had to choose whether he is guilty or not I wouldn't be able to say with 100% certainty that he is, which leaves a rather fragmented picture in my mind's eye :(

 

Let me not even start on why the girlfriend or even friends of Henri never reached the stand so that one could perhaps ascertain his state of mind leading up to the horrors that passed.

 

It truly boggles the mind at how little we really know about Henri at this stage in time.

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Day 41 of the trial and the media is in shambles. Will Henri take the stand or no?

 

Advocate Botha said there's good cause for Henri to take the stand after the defence's witnesses. Albeit he is not certain Henri will actually take the stand.

 

Three experts and two lay witnesses are still expected to testify for the defence it seems. Botha called the state's evidence circumstantial. There is no direct evidence against his client.

 

Advocate Botha asked of Desai to let the expert witnesses go first and he will decide later whether Henri will take the stand. Botha said that at this stage of the trial he would not call Henri to testify.

 

State prosecutor Galloway said that similar to remaining silent, not testifying also has its consequences. She said that a plea explanation is not evidence before the court.

 

Botha said that his client is presumed innocent. His client has a right not to testify and to remain silent. The experts testify on evidence, not the plea explanation.

 

Judge Desai will give his decision on Henri van Breda's defence application on the 27th of September.

 

The court is adjourned.

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Henri van Breda's application to testify has been dismissed by Desai. Desai said that there are no valid grounds for Henri to testify last and nothing prohibits him from amplifying or modifying his testimony when on the stand. Hence, Henri will not testify.

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No information that I can find on the case or when it is set to resume. We have three final experts left for the defence after which a verdict is hopefully served without a hold up.

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I must commend Carly, this woman does a better job than the news agencies. I do not think this thread gets the coverage it deserves.

 

I am mailing it to News24.

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I appreciate that most greatly. Albeit most of my information is derived from our news sites. The only problem is they don't give all the information in their articles. I try to keep my posts short enough to read whilst making sure it is as complete as possible. The public deserves the truth and not just what the media decides to tell us. I do owe a big thank you to News 24 for their live tweeting when I can't be there.

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And from the blue we are hit with news. Today the state asked for two days in prepreration to question the defence's expert in evidence, Antonel Olckers. Olckers is said to testify on the DNA and the question of foreign alleles in blood DNA which is said to have been found on the scene, under Henri's fingernail and on the duvet. She threw the SAPS laboratory under the bus in saying they aren't accredited and didn't follow standard procedures.

 

The state however, brushed this under the carpet as well as they could. We will see where we go from here when the questioning is underway.

 

Advocate Botha also said the defence team may need to withdraw as Henri does not have the funds to sustain the case much longer.

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In all honesty I just want to hear the verdict already

 

I mean really, if I was being accused of murdering my entire family I would sure AF be on that stand arguing my innocence, but whatever.

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Albeit the media hype is there, it's not a nationally/internationally acclaimed case as it was with Oscar.

 

But for trials in general it would be very interesting if we had a channel for it.

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