Phoenix pleads guilty to mom’s murder

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Copy of ca p1 Phoenix 1 DONE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron, 19, has admitted in court that she had knowingly taken part in killing her mother, Rosemary Theron. File photo: Leon Lestrade

Cape Town - Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron has admitted she had taken part in murdering her mother, Rosemary Theron, in a plea bargain in which she also implicated her boyfriend Kyle Maspero.

The 19-year-old, standing alone in the dock in the Western Cape High Court on Friday morning, said “yes” softly several times as Judge Robert Henney asked her whether she understood the various elements of the plea bargain upon which her defence counsel and the prosecution had agreed.

In terms of the plea bargain, Theron admitted guilt to the main charge of murder and the second charge of defeating the ends of justice.

In her plea, Theron said her boyfriend, Maspero, first suggested they kill her mother.

On March 7 last year, the two were at their home in Clovelly when Rosemary arrived home at 7pm.

Acting according to their plan, Theron approached her mother, put her arms around her and apologised for earlier arguments, while Maspero approached her mother from behind with a rope which he put around her neck. He then strangled her to death.

Theron admitted that she had knowingly taken part in the murder, that it had been planned beforehand and that she was fully aware of what she was doing.

She also helped Maspero hide the body in a black plastic bag under a tarpaulin in the garden of the house before burying it in an open field the next day.

Theron also admitted that she had knowingly lied to police when she told them her mother had not returned home that night.

She said she and Maspero then moved to live in Gordon’s Bay and Maspero moved the body again, to Strandfontein, with the help of a friend, Godfrey Scheepers. They later heard Scheepers had made a confession to police.

Judge Henney accepted the guilty plea and found Theron guilty to both charges as set out.

He questioned the suggested sentence, which was read out in court as 20 years imprisonment, with five years suspended for five years on condition that she was not found guilty of another violent crime.

Before sentence, Theron’s defence counsel offered an appeal for mitigation, listing a litany of abuse and neglect which Theron had allegedly suffered at the hands of her mother.

Judge Henney had not yet confirmed the sentence by the time of publication. The hearing continues.

Cape Argus

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