Cape Town - A man accused of killing Cape Town stilt walker Rosemary Theron was referred for mental observation by the Western Cape High Court on Monday morning.
“You are referred to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital for 30 days of observation,” Judge Robert Henney told 18-year-old Kyle Maspero.
He would remain out on bail until a bed became available, at which point he would be held at the hospital for 30 days.
Henney provisionally postponed the matter until July 9 pending the hospital's report.
Maspero appeared with co-accused Godfrey Scheepers, 20, on charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.
William da Grass (SUBS: CORRECT) brought the observation application, saying his client was having difficulty instructing him.
“There is a failure to recollect material aspects of the offence and this is because of a protracted and heavy use of narcotics,” he told Henney.
“This condition existed even at the time of the offence and we wish to prevent a situation where difficulties arise at a later stage.”
Henney said he did not understand the application because substance abuse during an alleged offence did not grant immunity from prosecution.
He asked the lawyer if there was a mental illness or defect.
Da Grass replied that Maspero had been using tik (crystal methamphetamine) for an extended period. There was scientific evidence to suggest it caused biological and physiological changes to the brain.
“Colloquially, the brain has been damaged due to drug use. I think that's the simplest way to put it,” Da Grass said.
Prosecutor Susan Galloway agreed observation was necessary, based on what the defence had presented and her conversation with the investigating officer.
She provisionally withdrew the same charges against Scheepers, pending the report.
“You know where to find him afterwards?” Henney asked Galloway.
She assured Henney she did.
Theron's daughter Phoenix Racing Cloud, 19, reportedly had a role in the stilt walker's murder, and entered into a plea bargain with the State last month.
She admitted helping her boyfriend Maspero strangle her 39-year-old mother with a rope in her home in Fish Hoek on March 7
Scheepers allegedly helped the two move the body and rebury it in a shallow grave.