Deal for hammer killer?

Date: 14 Jun 2007
The man accused of bludgeoning to death a young woman on the day she started working for him, wants to reach a plea-bargain agreement with the State. Counsel for Daniel Petrus van der Walt, 30, told the Pretoria High Court yesterday there was a proposed plea bargain agreement on the table, involving the accused pleading guilty. The prosecution, however indicated that it needed more time to study a psychiatric report obtained by the defence and also needed to consult with a psychiatrist, the victim’s family and the investigating officer. In addition, the prosecutor must also get authorization from the Director of Public Prosecutions before such an agreement can be entered into and placed before the court. The State alleges that Van der Walt, had in February 2006 murdered 20-year-old Marlené Mauer by hitting her with a hammer and stuffing her body into the boot of her boyfriend’s car. Mauer’s body was discovered a day after she started working for Van der Walt, but never returned home. He allegedly made a confession to a magistrate a few days later. A psychological report that was handed to the court last year stated that Van der Walt suffered from a major depressive and panic disorder and feared open public spaces, but was a accountable for his actions and could stand trial. Judge Francis Legodi postponed the trial to October 2. Van der Walt will remain in custody. By Ilse de Lange The Citizen 14/06/07