Mario-César Deus Yela
A Spanish dentist accused of murdering his twins and who was hoping not to stand trial had his hopes dashed.

At a pre-trial hearing last week, the Cape High Court ruled that the trial of Mario-César Deus Yela, 49, would begin on August 20.

Deus Yela, who is from Barcelona, Spain, is accused of killing his twins, Octavia and Maximo, at a Hout Bay holiday complex in April last year.

Julia Engelhorn and her twins, Octavia and Maximo.


His attorney, William Booth, told the court that the defence had made certain proposals to the State but the plea and sentencing talks with the State had fallen flat and the trial would go ahead.

According to earlier reports, Deus Yela’s ex-wife, Julia Engelhorn, found the bodies of her 3-year-old twins in a bedroom, after he invited her for lunch. When she arrived, he allegedly told her he had killed their two children. The couple has a third child who was at school at the time of the alleged killings.

The man arrived in South Africa in March last year and found a holiday home and an au pair for the children so that he could spend more time with them.

Deus Yela is also accused of threatening to stab Engelhorn, who ran to a security guard for help. He is also accused of stealing Engelhorn’s Toyota Prado.

Deus Yela remains in police custody after his bail application was previously denied in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

Booth is also the defence attorney for Guatemalan Diego Novella, who stands accused of murdering his girlfriend, Gabriela Kabrins Alban, at Camps Bay hotel in 2015. The State prosecutor in that trial is Louise Friester-Sampson, who is also the State prosecutor in this one.