Guatemalan murder accused, Diego Novella. File photo: Courtney Africa African News Agency/ANA
It's time for the family of slain American marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban to process her gruesome killing, they said, now that her Guatemalan boyfriend, Diego Novella, has been found guilty of murder.

Western Cape High Court Judge Vincent Saldanha found Novella to have known exactly what he was doing when he strangled Kabrins Alban in their Camp’s Bay hotel room in July 2015.

This despite Novella saying he was intoxicated and thought his girlfriend was a demon.

Kabrins Alban’s father, Howdy Kabrins, said after 124 court days and 7000 court documents they will process everything they have heard and experienced.

“She was my only child and I will now do something, everything to remember her legacy,” Kabrins said.

He and his wife, Linda, have been staying in South Africa since last month, and previously visited the country whenever there was a court appearance.

Kabrins Alban was killed by strangulation, and had suffered blunt-force trauma to the head, forensics found.

When police arrived they found that chips had been scattered over her body.

Novella left a note with the derogative Spanish word “cerote”, which means piece of s***.

Once Novella had committed the murder, he went down to the beach.

Upon his return to the hotel, a staff member asked him how his “lovely lady” was doing, to which he responded, “my lovely lady is dead”.

Linda Kabrins thanked Judge Saldanha, saying she had full confidence in him.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the NPA was hopeful the judgment had brought comfort to the family.

“This case illustrates the often fatal consequences that many women around the world, and especially women in South Africa, suffer at the hands of their abusive intimate partners.

“The prosecution in this matter has taken in excess of 12 months and we are indebted to all the agencies that have contributed to the outcome. We are mindful that all families affected by this type of offence, including the family of the deceased, place their trust in the NPA, to tirelessly prosecute offenders in the scourge that is femicide,” Ntabazalila said.

Sentencing proceedings are due to start on August 7.

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