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The Latest On That Camps Bay Hotel Murder From Two Years Ago

Story from: 2oceansvibe.com

One can lose ones inhibitions by the consumption of alcohol but that doesn’t mean they lose criminal responsibility.

That was Judge Vincent Saldanha’s response to lawyer William Booth’s attempted defence, when he stated that although the “panel found Diego Novella fit to stand trial and able to “appreciate the wrongfulness of his offence‚” his diminished capacity would be a sufficient defence”.

Not so fast there, Booth.

The proceedings took place yesterday in Cape Town’s High Court, the Guatemalan accused standing trial for the alleged murder of his girlfriend American Gabriela Alban, 39, in July 2015.

The subject of Novella’s mental state is an issue as well [that picture up top certainly looks a little ‘out there’], reports Times Live:

Upon his arrest in 2015‚ Novella was taken to Valkenberg Mental Hospital where a panel of physicians found at the time of the incident he did indeed suffer from “diminished responsibility”‚ due to the drug ingestion.

Yesterday Novella pleaded not guilty and, as Booth read out his plea explanation, “both [Alban’s] parents flinched as explicit details of the events leading to their daughter’s death were revealed”:

Novella maintained his innocence saying he and Alban were “in love” and that her death had caused him “hours of agony and trauma”. Novella went on to say he had no “intent” to kill Alban‚ and that at the time of her death he was “in an abnormal state” because of substances he ingested.

Court documents indicate the couple ingested a mixture of cannabis oil and sceletium (a herb chewed apparently to prevent stress).

In rejecting this argument, Saldanha went on to call “[Novella’s] capacity “no more than a mitigating factor”. Booth was then “forced to go back and consult his client‚ ending proceedings”.

In case you missed it, here’s the trial’s background:

Alban and Novella had been dating for two years and Alban had been visiting Novella at his home in Guatemala City‚ Guatemala‚ when the couple chose to travel to South Africa in April 2015. During their visit they planned to attend a “cleansing clinic” in Magaliesburg to treat Alban’s Lyme disease.

They booked into the Camps Bay Retreat Boutique Hotelon July 25. Four days later Alban’s body was found with faeces on her head and a curling iron beside her. It was previously reported that Novella was arrested partially naked on Camps Bay Beach later that day.

Today will see Alban’s father take the stand after the end of the plea phase, and let’s just hope we get to the heart of it far quicker than many of the other murder trials we have seen in recent years.


This post is from 2oceansvibe.com. Click here to read the full text

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