JOHANNESBURG – Details of an alleged organised hit were revealed during the bail application of a 27-year-old man accused of wanting his wife killed for a multimillion-rand insurance payout.
It was revealed that Michael-Dean Merrington wanted his wife Aldrige killed so that he could claim R4.5 million in insurance and pension money.
Merrington is alleged to have approached a 20-year-old beggar, Glen Cona to carry out the task. However, on the day of the murder, Cona got cold feet and could not go ahead with it.
The two were later arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.
Merrington also faces an additional charge of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm for allegedly stabbing Cona when he failed to kill his wife.
At the bail application at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, it was stated that the crime was a schedule 1 offence and the onus was on the State to prove that releasing the accused would not be in the interest of justice.
The investigating officer, from Brackendowns police station, Mario Nes, stated he believed the two men were flight risks, and releasing them would interfere with the process of justice.
The court had to adjourn to give a visibly shaken Cona time to compose himself.
This was after the court twice battled to swear him in. He appeared frightened and unable to comprehend what was going on.
The court resorted to using the affidavit he gave to the police after his arrest.
In the affidavit, Cona says he was at a traffic light begging when Merrington approached him and asked him to kill his 31-year-old wife.
But when he told Merrington he had never killed anyone, Merrington told him to try.
He took Cona to the house, hid him in the bathroom to wait for Aldrige to return from work. When she arrived, Cona lost his nerve because Aldrige and Merrington’s three-year-old son was present.
The matter was postponed to Thursday.
– The Star/Iol News
PHOTO: Glen Cona, left, and Michael-Dean Merrington in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Itumeleng English/The Star