Twin brothers could face 12 years for cousin's death

Gavel with lady justice in the background
Gavel with lady justice in the backgroundPhoto: SergPoznanskiy/DepositPhotos

The Public Prosecutor demanded 12 years in prison against 29-year-old twin brothers Kevin and Melvin M. for their involvement in the violent death of their cousin Stuart Markiet and for disposing of his body. The brothers deny having anything to do with the 41-year-old Schiedam man's death, the Telegraaf reports.

"With all due respect Mr. Judge. You've asked us a hundred questions, but we did not kill Stuart", Melvin M. said in court on Thursday. 

Stuart Markiet was found dead in the Nieuwe Waterweg near Rozenburg four years ago, three weeks after his family reported him missing. His bicycle was found at a home on Schieweg in Rotterdam. The suspected brothers' stepmother lived in that home, along with her daughter and her boyfriend John. Melvin also regularly stayed there and Kevin used the house as his mailing address.

Traces of the victim's blood was found in the home - on the living room wall, on binoculars and on a claw hammer. Blood was also found in boyfriend John's car and he was arrested as a suspect. He was released a few weeks later. Statements by John, the twins stepmother and their stepsister pointed the authorities to the brothers as the guilty parties.

But Kevin and Melvin M. had fled the country to South America. "For fear of our dangerous cousins", Kevin said in court. After they were placed on the national wanted list, they returned to the Netherlands last year. "To prove our innocence", Melvin said.

According to the twins, John killed Stuart. "He told us, but we took that with a pinch of salt. When Stuart was found, it turned out that we shouldn't have taken it with a pinch of salt", one brother said, according to the Telegraaf. 

But the Public Prosecutor is convinced of the brothers' involvement in their cousin's death. The motive is unclear, because they invoked their right to remain silent about what happened. Possibly Stuart's relationship with their stepmother upset the twins, the Prosecutor speculated. The Prosecutor believes the brothers used John's car to move the body.

The lawyers defending the brothers doubt the reliability of the statements made against them by their stepmother, sister and her boyfriend. They asked the court to acquit the two men due to lack of evidence.

The court will rule on September 19th.