Teen who allegedly used his dad’s gun to shoot his friend pleads not guilty to murder

Sixteen-year-old Joshua Edwards was shot dead in Midrand on 5 January 2021.

A teenager is accused of murder.

A teenager is accused of murder. Catherine Falls Commercial, Getty Images

A teenager accused of murdering his 16-year-old friend in Midrand last month, has pleaded not guilty in the in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

The 18-year-old accused appeared in court on Monday alongside his father, who has also been charged in connection with the incident.

He allegedly shot Joshua Edwards in the chest on 5 January 2021 when Edwards visited him at his home.

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The State will set out to prove intent in the form of dolus eventualis, which establishes legal intention where an accused person should have objectively foreseen that his conduct would cause the death of another but proceeded with the action regardless.

News24 previously reported that the accused had access to his father’s firearms, including a shotgun. He allegedly shot his friend at close range.

He has also been accused of pointing a firearm at another friend who was at the house at the time.

Other allegations are that both the father and his son defeated the ends of justice by removing a shotgun from the crime scene and failing to report the shooting to the police.

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According to the charge sheet, the teen is facing the following charges: murder, pointing of a firearm, unlawfully and intentionally handling firearms in a manner likely to endanger the safety of another person, possession of a firearm without a license, permit or authorisation, possession of ammunition without a license, permit or authorisation, defeating the ends of justice and the unlawful possession of a firearm.

His father, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his son, has been charged with defeating the ends of justice, three counts of failure to lock away a firearm in a prescribed safe, which relate to a 12-gauge shotgun and revolver, and one count of the unlawful possession of a firearm.

After the charges were read out in court, both pleaded not guilty to all the charges and declined to give a plea explanation.

Their advocate, Piet Du Plessis, told the court that their version would be put to the witnesses during the trial.