Satanic possession defence questioned

Judge Borchers expressed reservations about the legitimacy of using demon possession as a defence.

FILE: Lindon Wagner stands to the right of his lawyer on 9 October 2013 with a tribute to his alleged murder victim Kirsty Theologo behind them. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The judge in the Kirsty Theologo murder trial has questioned whether she should allow satanic possession to be used as a defence argument for the accused.

Four people are standing trial for murdering the 18-year-old in an apparent satanic ritual in Linmeyer, south of Johannesburg, two years ago. The matter is being heard by the high court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court.

Lindon Wagner's lawyer Lydia van Niekerk argued her client was possessed by demons when he killed Theologo, saying he wasn't in his right mind at the time.

Kirsty Theologo was murdered in an apparent satanic ritual in October 2011.

Van Niekerk also told the court that psychiatrists who examined Wagner found him to be of good mental health had not done their jobs properly.

She adds the entire investigation into the case was weak.

But Judge Geraldine Borchers disputed the claim.

She expressed reservations about the legitimacy of using demon possession as a defence.

Wagner is standing trial alongside Courtney Daniels, Robin Harwood and Harvey Isha.

The state has asked for the murder to be classified as a Schedule 2, Part 1 offence, which carries a life sentence.

Judgment will be handed down on Thursday.