Lindray Khakhu, the man accused of killing Westbury toddler Luke Tibbetts was sentenced to two life terms on Friday for two counts of murder.
Tibbetts was shot in the head while sitting on his mother’s lap in a car in Westbury in August 2014. He died less than a week later in hospital. Khakhu, who had fired shots in the street was allegedly firing shots at another resident, Keenan Mokwena.
Judge Matthew Klein, who handed down the judgment in the High Court in Johannesburg sitting in Palm Ridge said that Khakhu was trigger happy and knew his actions could hurt someone.
Klein found Khakhu had intended to kill Mokwena or anyone else in Mokwena’s car because he had fired 10 shots, seven of which hit the car Mokwena was traveling in, and one which struck Tibbets.
“In other words, the accused had to foresee the possibility that innocent people might be hurt, even killed.”
Mokwena was wounded. Tibbetts died in hospital six days later.
22-year-old Khakhu, was further found guilty of one other count of murder, five accounts of attempted murder and 10 unlawful possessions of a firearm and ammunition. He was found not guilty of pointing a firearm.
Judge Klein went on to say that CCTV footage showing Khakhu, running with a firearm confirms that he was also responsible for the shooting and killing of Alton Mooi in Westbury in 2013.
Khakhu’s lawyer Sog van Eck, arguing in mitigation of sentence, asked the court to take into account that alcohol had played a role in all of Khakhu’s crimes.
Going on to mention that Khakhu was being treated for a kidney condition.
The toddler’s uncle, Llewellyn Valentine, said the death has left the family shattered and that no judgment or sentence would bring back the three-year-old.
Tibbetts’ death came in the wake of what appeared to be a string of crime-related deaths of young other children in Gauteng.