College student Hannah Cornelius, prosecutors claim was killed ‘because she fought back after realizing assailants were going to gang-rape her a second time’
The thugs then ‘took her underwear as a trophy’ a court in Western Cape, South Africa heard on Monday
The honors college student was gang raped, strangled and beaten to death with a huge rock after stopping to give a friend a ride home to stop thugs stealing his skateboard
Stellenbosch University students Hannah Cornelius and Cheslin Marsh were attacked in Stellenbosch, South Africa leading to the death of one and permanent injuries the survivor
Cornelius. 21, and Marsh, 22, were chatting in her blue Golf after an evening out on a weekend night in May 2017, when they were carjacked by four men
The pair’s belongings were stolen before they were driven out of the town and beaten with bricks
Cornelius had been stabbed several times before being strangled – She had also been gang raped by three of the men before she was brutally murdered
Marsh who was bashed in the head with bricks and left for dead is still traumatized after suffering permanent head injuries in the attack
Vernon Witbooi, 33, Geraldo Parsons, 27, Nashville Julius, 29, and Eben Van Niekerk, 28, face a string of charges including murder, kidnap, robbery and rape
Last week, Parsons, who has admitted his role in the crime, testified that Cornelius did not shout or cry while she was being brutally raped by him and his friends before they murdered her
Hannah Cornelius, 21, and Cheslin Marsh, 22, were carjacked in May 2017
Cornelius was gang raped by three men before she was brutally murdered
Prosecutor tells jurors they may have kept her underwear as a trophy
Last week one of the attackers claimed Hannah Cornelius ‘did not scream or fight when they raped her,’ after she agreed to ‘have sex with them’ in a desperate bid for survival.
Related: Four men on trial in the carjacking and savage murder of brilliant student – Hannah Cornelius was gang raped and beaten to death with a rock after stopping to give a friend a ride home to stop thugs stealing his skateboard
Peterson reported that the lawyer suggested ‘this could be why pants was halfway down and she had not been wearing underwear when her body was found.
‘He argues her attackers could have kept her underwear as trophies.’
Perjury? Geraldo Parsons [photo], one of the suspects had claimed in his confession that Hannah Cornelius, did not shout or cry while she was being brutally raped by him and his friends before they killed her
Geraldo Parsons, 27, Vernon Witbooi, 33, Nashville Julius, 29, and Eben van Niekerk, 28 allegedly robbed and assaulted Mr Marsh and left him for dead, before brutally raping and murdering Ms Cornelius.
Related: Court in South Africa is stunned as two-foot, 82lb rock used to smash college student to death as she was held down after being kidnapped and gang-raped is shown
She was carjacked by four men while dropping off fellow student Cheslin Marsh, 22, at his home in Stellenbosch, west of Cape Town, after a night out.
Parsons told Western Cape Court last week, that Cornelius had bargained with them in a desperate bid for survival, agreeing that they could have sex with her – as long as they did not hurt her and let her go afterwards.
People of the public gallery in Cape Town court gasped when the massive rock allegedly used by the four accused carjackers to smash the skull of college student Hannah Cornelius was introduced into evidence in the court room, last week
Making a full confession to the charges of rape, murder, kidnap and robbery, Parsons broke down in tears as he claimed he had not wanted to rape Cornelius as he had a girlfriend and young children, but that he ‘did it anyway’.
He claimed the victim ‘did not scream or fight when they raped her.’
Parsons was asked to explain the scratches and abrasions which had been found on his face upon his arrest, which he could not.Petersen tweeted from the court room that Parsons had also been questioned about ‘plastic pearls’ in his penis – a type of body modification.
Parsons claimed the genital decorations would be ‘his privacy’, but later bizarrely added it ‘was part of his Jewish religion’, according to Petersen.
Parsons told the court that the quartet had only intended to steal the victim’s car after spotting it outside Marsh’s apartment block and that the incident spiralled after they saw the two students still inside.
Geraldo Parsons [second left], broke down in tears on Wednesday, as he admitted to raping and the murder of Hannah Cornelius, implicating his co-defendants Vernon Witbooi, [left], Nashville Julius, and [right], Eben van Niekerk
Hannah Cornelius allegedly pled for her life after her kidnappers had gang-raped her outside Stellenbosch near Cape Town in May 2017, before they bashed her head in with a huge rock
The Four men Vernon Witbooi, [left] Geraldo Parsons, Nashville Julius, and Eben van Niekerk, [right], face a string of charges including murder, kidnap, robbery and rape
Another suspect Eben Van Niekerk, also wrote a letter of apology addressed to the victim’s family, for his part in the crime. This letter was written by Eben van Niekerk after his arrest and was translated from Afrikaans.
‘This letter comes from Eben VNK.
‘Herewith I write this letter to Henna’s mom and dad. I am sorry for what I did and I ask if they can forgive me for what I have done…
‘The girl was like a friend to me but the other accused, I was also scared of them and it wasn’t nice to see.
‘I was also scared of them. Don’t be angry at me please.’
‘Vernon said Hannah said we can have sex with her but then we must leave her after that,’ Parsons said according to Times Live, describing the look of terror in Ms Cornelius’ eyes.
He described how he was the first to rape Ms Cornelius, before Witbooi and then van Niekerk.
He claims he told Witbooi to release Ms Cornelius afterwards, but instead, the group threw the 21-year-old in the boot of her own car, and drove to a nearby vineyard.
‘She didn’t want to climb out of the boot. She was holding on to the car. She started panicking. Eben came up and stabbed her. I let her go as the blood started to spill.’
‘Then I saw Vernon arrive with a rock. I told Vernon “don’t kill her, we’ve already killed Cheslin, let’s leave her”. But Vernon threw the rock on Hannah’s head.’
‘Don’t be angry with me please’: Letter from accused rapist to parents of victim
The victim Hannah Cornelius, [L-R], was dragged from her car and raped by at least three of the men, before they stabbed her in the neck and crushed her skull with a large rock
Last week, state pathologist Deirdre Abrahams told the court that the violence against her skull was so brutal it would have killed her instantly.
‘The skull is made of very strong bones. It is not easy for a skull to break or crack, unless a lot of power is used to break the skull,’ the medical examiner told the Court on Tuesday.
Describing the sexual assault, Dr Abrahams told the court it ‘would have been a very painful experience to the person,’ according to News24.
Both the trauma to the head and the stab-wound in Hannah’s neck were fatal.
However the ME concluded that the blunt force trauma which cracked her skull is the most likely cause of death.
Prosecutors claim the four men surrounded Cornelius’ Volkswagen Golf, put a screwdriver to her chest through the open window and put a knife to the back of Mr Marsh and threatened to kill him.
Three of the carjackers made Marsh seen after his initial hospitalization,[photo] put his head on a rock then battered his skull with house bricks until they thought he was dead
Cheslin Marsh was robbed of cash and his phone and locked in the car boot and then the four men drove to a drug dealer’s home to buy drugs and smoked crystal meth.
Cornelius was ordered into the back seat before they drove out of Stellenbosch and pulled over near a local vineyard.
They carjackers reportedly dragged Marsh out of the boot and made him lay his head on a rock on the ground before battering his skull with bricks then left him for dead.
Marsh who is also a student at the same college recovered consciousness the following day, and staggered to a nearby home suffering severe head injuries and a broken arm to raise the alarm about his missing friend.
He was unaware Hannah’s body had been found earlier several miles away dumped by the roadside and a huge manhunt was already underway searching for him and the gang of robbers.
Cornelius, the daughter of a local magistrate Willem Cornelius and his late attorney wife Anna, was described as a ‘brilliant student’. She was in her second year at Stellenbosch University studying for a BA in Humanities at the time.
A distraught Marsh broke down in tears repeatedly as he recounted the horror of being carjacked, being locked in the trunk while Hannah was kept inside the car.
He said they had been out for a few drinks and to a dance and said he was going to use his skateboard to get home but Hannah insisted on driving him in case he was robbed.