Mom of schoolgirl killer says son ‘is not the real culprit’

Mom of schoolgirl killer says son ‘is not the real culprit’

Mercia Bylsma has risked drawing the ire of the public – and the families of the victims – after claiming that her son was not the real Stella High School murderer. Xander Bylsma shot to infamy in May 2018, when he was arrested for killing two teenagers in North West. But his mom has continued to protest his innocence.

Stella High School murders case

The 20-year-old Bylsma was in a romantic relationship with Sharnelle Hough, who was only 16 at the time of her death. Marna Engelbrecht was 17, and it was later revealed she was Xander’s second cousin. The crime left a particularly brutal scar on the community, and a court determined the youngster was guilty earlier this year.

One of the more jarring aspects of the case was that Xander Bylsma tried to alter the crime scene and make the deaths look like suicide. He has initially strangled the pair, before making it appear as if they’d hung themselves. This cold-blooded attempt to cover up the crime called his remorse into question.

Xander Bylsma ‘not the real culprit’, mom claims

Indeed, if the sole suspect could be accused of feigning accountability, then a stronger term would be needed for his mother. Rapport has quoted Mercia Bylsma as saying her son ‘is not someone she is ashamed of’. She even went one better at the sentencing last week, claiming that the ‘real culprit’ had not been captured:

“[Xander Bylsma] is my child, God gave him to me. People look at me strangely when I say this, but I will not change my mind, because I am not ashamed of my child. Of course we made mistakes, but we also just tried our best.”

“The person who was described in that court is not my child. It cannot be him. We now want to see the real culprit in court and also want the murder to be solved.” 

Mercia Bylsma

The youthful offender was given two life sentences on Friday. According to the state, Bylsma was a recluse who spent most of his time hunting wild animals. It’s alleged he couldn’t accept the fact that Hough had moved on with her life after splitting up with him, and sent threatening texts before killing his teenage victim.

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