Trial of pair for murder and shooting of baby postponed

Absent defence lawyer cost delay

Morne Featherstone, right, and Charl White in the dock of the high court in Gqeberha.
Morne Featherstone, right, and Charl White in the dock of the high court in Gqeberha.

The trial of two alleged gangsters, Morne Featherstone and Charl White, is expected to continue on Thursday.

The matter was postponed yesterday due to the unavailability of Featherstone’s defence advocate, Elsabet Theron.

Featherstone and White have pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder, one of murder, two counts of contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act in that they are accused of aiding and abetting in gang-related crimes, and two counts each for the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

It is alleged that on July 8 2018 the pair opened fire on two men who had been sitting outside a house in Bibby Street, Bloemendal in Gqeberha.

The two alleged targets managed to run away and took cover in the Bibby Street house.

A woman, who is not being named due to concerns for her safety, Dillon Barnard, 31, and a four-month-old baby boy were inside the house at the time.

The woman and one of the alleged targets hid in a bathroom while multiple shots were fired inside the house.

When the shooting ceased, the man and woman emerged from the bathroom to find Barnard’s bullet-riddled body in a bedroom, along with the bloodied infant.

Barnard died at the scene, while the baby was taken to West End Clinic for treatment.

According to the state, Featherstone and White’s targets had been suspected members of the rival Upstand Dogs gang.

Fetherstone and White are reportedly members of the Satan Defenders gang.

Featherstone was arrested on July 8 2018 by SAPS members patrolling the Bloemendal area near Bardien Avenue.

White was arrested on November 11.

Both remain in custody.

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