Stella murders: 'I can’t tell you how I feel in my heart', says mom about Xander’s not-guilty plea

Stella murder accused Xander Bylsma’s plea of not guilty has left family members of the victims in shock.

“First he said he’s guilty, now he’s entered a not-guilty plea,” Sonja Hough, whose daughter Sharnelle is one of the victims, told YOU on Tuesday afternoon.

Bylsma pleaded not guilty to two murder charges in the Vryburg magistrate’s court.

He’s charged with killing Sharnelle, 17, and her best friend, Marna Engelbrecht, 16. The girls’ bodies were found on 26 May in the hostel of Stella’s high school.

Sharnelle’s body was hanging from a banister while Marna’s body was found in a bathroom.

Neither Sonja nor Sharnelle’s father, Ronnie, were at court on Tuesday. Apparently they were aware that the hearing would be postponed.

“I can’t tell you how I feel in my heart,” an emotional Sonja told YOU. “It’s upsetting.”

Shortly after the girls’ bodies were found, Bylsma confessed to a private detective, Chris Saunders, after which he handed himself in at the Vryburg police station and was arrested. He’s been in custody since.

The trial has been postponed to 6 December, when Bylsma will appear in the high court in Mmabatho, North West.

Meanwhile he’ll be sent to the Sterkfontein Hospital for psychological evaluation to determine whether he’s fit to stand trial.