Cape Town - His appearance has changed since he first stood in the dock last October, his T-shirt torn, his head shaved, his expression defiant.
On Wednesday, Kyle Maspero, the teenager accused of murdering his girlfriend’s mother, Rosemary Theron of Clovelly, was wearing a crisp navy blue shirt with a white check, his hair had grown back and his expression appeared relaxed. Or perhaps it was the expression of one resigned to waiting.
He first appeared in court in October, with his girlfriend Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron, his co-accused in the murder of her mother in March last year. Since then he has been in custody in Pollsmoor Prison and had appeared in Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court at least another four times in his application for bail. It is not finalised and he will appear again on Friday.
Maspero was 17 when he allegedly murdered Theron, but is standing trial as an adult, as he is now 18.
He sat with his hands clasped, one arm covered in smudgy tattoos that look “home-grown”. There is the name of his girlfriend, misspelled as “Pheonix”. Another in red says “I’ll see you again”. A tattoo of a black chain encircles his wrist and above that are the letters RIP in red. There are a few scrolls and patterns, and a scarecrow face, with eyes, nose and “stitched-up” mouth.
The court has heard through police witnesses the confessions of Phoenix Theron, and another from Maspero’s friend Godfrey Scheepers, which detail what apparently happened on the night Rosemary Theron was murdered.
Yet Maspero’s counsel has argued in the bail application that the State’s case against the teenager is weak.
According to Theron’s confession, she argued with her mother on the night of the murder. She and Maspero then went off together, took drugs and apparently plotted to kill her mother.
According to the confession, they returned to Theron’s Clovelly house. Phoenix went up to her mother, apologised and embraced her. Maspero crept up behind with a rope and strangled her. They wrapped her body in a duvet and buried it in a nearby field.
According to the confession, when they had to move out of Theron’s rented house, they moved in with Scheepers, who lived in the Strand. He helped them move, and then came back for the last load. It was the body of Rosemary Theron. They dug it up, drove down Baden Powell Drive and reburied it next to the Strandfontein Pavilion.
In September, after Scheepers and Maspero had fallen out, Scheepers went to the police and told them what had happened. The body was found and all three were arrested.
During the bail application Maspero’s legal representative, William de Grass, has outlined why the State’s case against Maspero is weak:
* The confession or affidavit of one accused cannot be used against another accused.
* Maspero has made no confession himself.
* The forensic team that examined the first grave had not found any remains of Theron’s body.
* The post-mortem examination had not been able to determine the cause of death.