The trial of two South Africans charged with brutally killing nine men at a gay escort agency started Wednesday with the judge refusing to accept a guilty plea from the two accused, as they blamed each other for the grisly crime, Agence France-Presse reports. Judge Nathan Erasmus of the Cape High Court said he would not accept the guilty pleas of Adam Woest, 27, and Trevor Theys, 44, because they blamed each other for the massacre. "Both men raised the issue of compulsion [in their statements], and I will therefore enter pleas of not guilty," Erasmus said.
Woest and Theys are alleged to have gone on a killing spree at the Sizzlers massage escort agency in the Cape Town suburb of Sea Point last year after robbing the men who were at the venue. The crime sent shock waves through South Africa and especially in Cape Town, which actively tries to lure gay tourists. In a statement, read by the defense, Woest, a waiter, said a former employee at Sizzlers had told him and Theys, a taxi driver, about large sums of money that were kept at the agency. Woest said Theys had persuaded him to rob Sizzlers. He said the two drove to the agency on the evening of January 19, 2003, and tied up and stabbed workers and clients. He said in a statement that Theys "told me that we must cut the persons to scare them into showing us more money."