Murder plea bargain fails

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A plea bargain between the State and a man accused of kidnapping and murdering a pregnant Bloemfontein woman failed on Friday.

State prosecutor Silas Chalale told Bloemfontein High Court Judge Corné van Zyl that a plea and sentencing agreement was rejected before the matter came before the court on Friday.

Quewin Coetzee, 30, a provincial government official, faces charges of kidnapping, murder, and escape from custody.

The body of Celeste Fraser-Carson, 28, was found in a shallow grave near the Meadows Road in the Bloemspruit area on March 5. Coetzee was arrested in Graaff Reinet the day before.

Fraser-Carson disappeared about three weeks before her body was found. Photographs of the missing mother, who was expecting her second child, were pinned up all over the city and the case received extensive media coverage.

Coetzee's lawyer Martin Scheepers confirmed the draft plea and sentencing agreement had not been accepted.

Judge Van Zyl postponed the matter to February 2013 for a formal trial to start.

The court room was packed with family and relatives of both Frazer-Carson and Coetzee.

Coetzee has yet to lodge a bail application and remains in custody. – Sapa


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