The man accused of killing Year 10 Montmartre student, Aicha Maccoe, has pleaded guilty to killing her.
Etienne John Samuel admitted the offence inside a packed courtroom, after the brief facts of his case were amended before the Supreme Court yesterday.
The late Maccoe hails from Tongoa, she was found dead at the Teouma Garden area on October 10, 2018.
Yesterday morning the charge of intentional homicide stood but the prosecution took the court to several changes in the brief facts before the question was put to the murderer.
Etienne showed some remorse when he stood faced the judge and admitted he killed the victim, using stones.
The first brief facts revealed that Samuel hit the victim nine times. This has been retracted to five times.
He was charged with one count of intentional homicide, contrary to section 106 (b) of the Penal Code [CAP135].
Defense lawyer Pauline Kalwatman requested a pre-sentence report to be filed within 14 days starting from yesterday, which means by March 20, 2019.
After the pre-sentence report, the prosecution is expected to file its submissions on April 3 while the defense was given until April 17 to file.
The hearing on sentencing submissions is scheduled for April 22, 2019.
The victim’s close relatives as well as the chief were inside the courtroom yesterday when Samuel confessed to the offence.
They said that it is a relief when Samuel admitted the murder to bring justice closer to the case even though the penalty is yet to be determined.
Samuel was a parolee on sexual related offences when he killed his cousin that morning at the Teouma Garden.
She was discovered by an elderly woman looking for firewood, still attired in her uniform. Her schoolbag containing her school materials was recovered some meters away from where she was lying.
Evidences showed that after the killing, Samuel approached the Correctional Services Director Johnny Marango, asking to be transferred to Malekula. His request was refused.
He then flew to Malekula, breaching his parole condition and forcing the authorities to hunt from him from village to village in the second biggest island in the country.
He was arrested on October 20, and escorted to Port Vila for remand by high ranking police officers in order to avoid any physical harm during the process of transporting him to the capital.
The apprehension of Samuel was successfully executed due to the assistance of the people of Returr and Vanbaur village, for which the police later thanked them publicly.
The late Maccoe’s tragic death sparked a big debate throughout the country.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST