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Judge hands teen’s killers life sentences

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Two men have been handed life sentences for the 2013 brutal murder of a teenager in Mitchells Plain.

Tohier “Peanut” Williams was 18 and captain of the Western Cape Islander Touch Rugby team when he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gangsters could not find the person they meant to kill, and riddled him with bullets instead.

Judge Andre Le Grange sentenced Denver Arnolds, 26, and Marcelino McAllister, 21, to life imprisonment for murder and for possession of illegal firearms, in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday

They were also handed eight years for the possession of ammunition. The sentences will run concurrently.

“You have scant regard for life and are a danger to society. You need to be removed from society permanently,” Judge Le Grange told the two during sentencing.

The sentencing for the third man, Charlton Titus, 20, had been postponed until August as the court waits for his probation officer’s report. Titus was a minor at the time of the shooting.

It was the morning of December 21, 2013.

Tohier left home in Lentegeur to walk down Agapanthus Street to the shops.

Meanwhile, Arnolds, McAllister and Titus were driving down the street searching for a rival gang member who they intended to kill, but could not find.

In their frustration, they turned their attention to Tohier.

The armed trio got out of their blue Volkswagen Polo. They shot at Tohier, who tried to run away. They followed him and when he fell in the street, surrounded him and emptied their cartridges.

Four of the volley of shots found their mark.

The three got back in the Polo and drove away, but Arnolds had dropped his cellphone at the scene.

When police went to arrest him, he had the keys to the Polo in his possession.

“The deceased was in the prime of his life, he did not belong to any gang and he was peacefully walking to the shop.

“I find it difficult to show any sort of mercy to the accused,” Judge Le Grange said.

The heavy sentence was no cause for celebration for Tohier’s family.

His sister, Safiyyah Williams, said it was a comfort at least that some gangsters were behind bars.

“At the end of the day it won’t bring Tohier back, but it was the most the justice system could do. I’m happy because I feel like the children are a bit safer,” she said.

Tohier’s father died when he was a baby, and his mother died nine months before he was shot.

“He was still grieving. That’s why he shouted for his mother with the last shots,” Safiyyah said.

While the siblings were mourning the loss of their mother, it was Tohier’s smile that melted their hearts.

“He was the one that held us together. He was the hug we needed, he was our rainbow,” Safiyyah said.

“They took that from us and nothing can replace it.”

[Source: Cape Argus]
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