Theologo case: State demands life sentences

Kirsty Theologo died from her injuries after being doused with petrol and set alight in 2011.

Lindon Wagner and Robin Harwood arrive in court ahead of their sentencing on 11 February 2014. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - State prosecutors will today attempt to secure life sentences for the two men found guilty of killing Johannesburg teenager Kirsty Theologo during an apparent satanic ritual.

The 18-year-old died in 2011 after a group of friends tried to sacrifice her by dousing her with petrol and setting her alight on a hill near Linmeyer.

She died a week later in hospital from severe burns and a head injury.

Her friend, who was 14-year's-old at the time, sustained serious burns during the incident.

Last year, Robin Harwood and Lindon Wagner were convicted of murder, attempted murder and assault and are currently being sentenced in the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge.

Defence lawyers have asked Judge Geraldine Borchers that the jail terms for murder, attempted murder and assault of Theologo's friend run concurrently.

Lawyers had argued that both men have already spent over two years behind bars but it's unclear how this will affect their jail terms.

The state believes a life sentence is likely for both men and Theologo's family say they expect nothing less.

Borchers adjourned proceedings after yesterday's mitigation and aggravation arguments for consideration.


The court heard yesterday that drugs and alcohol played a significant role in Wagner and Harwood's decisions to carry out the ritual.

Defence lawyers argued that both men were the products of broken homes and had already shown some remorse for their actions.

Borchers noted that their belief that they would be rewarded for the sacrifice indicates they may have been living in a fantasy world.

But she questioned whether the men had shown true remorse for killing Theologo or only for the fact that they would now have to serve time in jail.

The judge also heard that the killers believed God's will led them to commit the murder.

It's understood Harwood and his co-accused have started preaching since their arrest.

But Judge Borchers questioned whether this might be a form of denial.

Harwood's family listened attentively in court while Theologo's mother Sylvia left the room on several occasions.


Wagner's aunt has reached out to Theologo's relatives to apologise and say he's changed in jail.

Michelle Parsons travelled from Durban this week to attend the sentencing.

She says the ordeal has shaken his family who have tried to apologise to the Theologos.

"The family in Durban are taking it very bad. They are praying and thanking God for taking them this far, and they are also sorry for the family for the loss of Kirsty and Bronon's injuries."