Durban — Cross-examination of a third witness who was at the scene where Dean Charnley was shot and killed in a road rage incident was expected to start on Thursday in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court.
On Monday Timm Wegmann, who was about four to five metres away when he witnessed the shooting, began leading evidence in the murder trial against pensioner Anthony Ball.
The defence asked for time to investigate Wegmann’s version before it could cross-examine him and the matter was adjourned to Thursday.
Ball is charged with Charnley’s murder. He was shot and killed last year in a road rage incident on the Everton Road turn-off from the M13 in Kloof.
In court on Monday after Wegmann had completed leading his evidence, Ball’s defence lawyer, advocate Gideon Scheltema SC, asked to consult with his client and the matter stood down for 15 minutes, following which he asked for the case to be adjourned.
“I’ve taken instructions from the accused and consulted with my instructing attorney. I ask that the matter be adjourned for cross-examination of this witness – there’s some new evidence that came to light, some evidence that might require investigation. We would like time to investigate this evidence for the accused’s rights to adequately challenge this evidence,” said Scheltema, whose instructing attorney is JP Botha.
When Ball tendered his not guilty plea at the beginning of the trial he told the court that while on the M13 Charnley had tailgated him with the Nissan he had been driving and in Everton Road Charnley had stopped in front of Ball’s Subaru and got out.
He says that Charnley came towards him shouting and hit the roof of his Subaru with his hand, and Ball opened his window, firing a warning shot.
He alleges that Charnley grabbed him through the window and partially opened the door, grabbing the gun, which he continued to hold on to, and the second, fatal, shot went off inadvertently.
A State witness has previously testified that there was no scuffle and that it had been Ball who had blocked Charnley from overtaking him more than once on the M13.
The testimony of Charnley’s son, who was with him on the day, agrees with that of the State witness, as does Wegmann’s.
During Wegmann’s testimony, when was asked by State prosecutor Rowen Souls whether he had seen Charnley reach into the Subaru through the open window, he said he did not.
“No there was no scuffle. He (Charnley) tried to close the door – there must have been some body part preventing it from closing. When the second shot went off, his hands were on the door. He was trying to push the door and the second shot went off,” he said.
Wegmann also said that he did not know Charnley, his family or previous witnesses in the matter.
“I don't know him, nor his family, but people who came past the scene were calling him by his name. A lot of people asked, ‘Shame what happened to Dean?’, and I saw that a lot of people know this man in this area.”
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