Schoemansville factory manager Richard van Ameron was on Wednesday convicted on a charge of murdering his common-law wife, despite his claims that he had no control over his actions.
Acting North Gauteng High Court Judge Izak Luther found Von Ameron guilty of murdering 29-year-old Jana Venter in the bedroom of their house in Schoemansville on the night of June 2, 2005 by shooting her once in the head and twice in the chest.
He rejected Van Ameron's evidence that he could not remember the incident at all because of low blood sugar levels and alcohol.
The Judge said Van Ameron was able to recall what happened before and immediately after the incident in great detail, which was not reconcilable with someone who was acting like an automaton.
Van Ameron testified that he remembered arguing with Venter about nude cellphone pictures and putting a pillow over his head, but could not remember anything until finding himself with an empty pistol against his head.
He never checked if Venter was still alive, but raced to their young daughter's room and drove several kilometres to the home of Venter's parents with the child, where he told them he had shot Jana and she was dead.
Van Ameron's church minister testified that the accused had called him in the middle of the night and asked him to come to the house. He found Van Ameron with a beer in his hand. He told the minister he lost his temper and shot Jana because she kept on pulling the blankets off him.
A psychiatrist, asked to help Van Ameron to regain his memory about the incident, said he believed Van Ameron's amnesia was genuine and he had not been able to control himself because of hypoglycaemia and alcohol.
An expert called by the state however said none of the tests performed on Van Ameron showed that he was a diabetic or even a pre-diabetic and there were no other factors present that could have affected his brain function to such an extent that he acted like an automaton.
Judge Luther said if Van Ameron genuinely did not know what had happened, he would have tried to help his victim and would not have left her alone in the house.
If, however, he realised he had shot her three times and there was no chance she could still be alive, his conducted fitted perfectly.
The judge concluded that Van Ameron knew very well what had happened and there was no scientific or medical explanation for his alleged amnesia. "There's no reasonable possibility that his version can be true. He consciously and purposely shot dead the deceased," Judge Luther said.
The trial will continue on Thursday. - Sapa