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Johannesburg - Murder accused Linden Wagner wanted to apologise for his role in the alleged satanic killing of Johannesburg teenager Kirsty Theologo and the assault of her friend, a court heard on Thursday.
Wagner told the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, that he had written letters to the girls and their families, which they had initially refused to accept.
“I wrote them as I wanted to apologise,” Wagner said.
He looked at Theologo's friend, seated in the public gallery, while he said this. She raised her middle finger at him. She was 14 at the time of the attack.
The court was told Theologo's mother later received the letter. The friend's letter was handed to her psychologist.
The girls were assaulted and Theologo was set alight as part of an apparent satanic ritual at a hill in Linmeyer, in October 2011.
Theologo died from her injuries a week later. Her friend was injured.
Wagner, Harvey Isha, Robin Harwood, and Courtney Daniels are on trial for Theologo's murder and the attempted murder of her friend, and for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. All have pleaded not guilty.
Two other accused, Jeremy King and Lester Moody, confessed to the crime and were each sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment, five of them suspended.
Earlier, Wagner gave the court a detailed account of how he strangled Theologo's friend until she was unconscious. He said he repeatedly struck Theologo on the head with a rock before setting her alight.
He and his accomplices then cut their hands and let their blood drip into a fire. They burnt a Bible.
The girls had been given alcohol laced with brake fluid.
Wagner said he was aware of what he was doing, but had no control over himself. He said he felt a rush through his body and was “zoned out” during the attack.
He later testified that three of his family members were bipolar.
The trial continues.