Murder accused Diego Novella believed aliens would take over the world
“I’m not going” — The three-word SMS Gabriela Alban sent to her mother‚ Doris Weitz‚ 25 days before she was found dead in a Camps Bay hotel.
Weitz recounted the interaction‚ during which her daughter detailed the physical and emotional pain she was in from planning a 2015 trip to South Africa while battling Lyme disease.
“I can’t last remember the last time I felt like this. My body hurts in ways I can’t describe‚” Alban wrote to Weitz.
After a number of mishaps including ticket rescheduling‚ Alban decided that her health wouldn’t allow her to make the trip. Weitz said seeing her daughter so “emotionally demolished” pushed her to convince Alban to reconsider.
“You’re sabotaging yourself. Make a superhuman effort and get there. If you don’t go you will regret it‚” Weitz wrote to Alban.
But Alban remained unconvinced by her mother’s efforts. The multiple delays had caused her boyfriend and murder accused Diego Novella to become “exasperated” and “to lose patience”.
Weitz and Alban had several heated exchanges regarding her trip postponement‚ which Weitz said was a direct result of Novella’s attitude.
Alban sent several messages to her mother‚ describing how her sickness had left Novella uninterested.
“Diego’s probably met somebody else. Who would want to be with me now‚ I’m some prize‚” Alban wrote. “Things with Diego are beyond bad. His heart isn’t with me. He broke my heart and stepped all over it. My eyes are swollen from crying.”
The harsh messages left Alban’s father‚ Howdy Kabrins‚ in tears as he sat in the gallery.
Prosecutor Louise Sampson had introduced the SMS transcripts in an attempt to “point out at the time when the deceased and accused arrived in Cape Town‚ their relationship had deteriorated. They were no longer in this romantic relationship.”
Weitz went further to describe a troubled relationship‚ saying from the first encounter she witnessed the couple didn’t seem “romantic‚ but looked like two friends”.
Alban had returned home to Los Angeles in December 2014‚ seven months before her trip to South Africa‚ because her relationship with Novella was “over”‚ according to Weitz.
Weitz said she had been wary of Novella from the start after spending a day alone with him.
“We went out for a smoke and a drink and we were chatting. He did most of the talking‚ discussing extra-terrestrials‚ conspiracies‚ money being the root of all evil‚ saying things like ‘we were going to be taken over by some other beings’‚” Weitz said.
After the morning recess‚ Weitz will take the stand again to finish her testimony.