Three men who killed a woman for testifying against them in a robbery with violence case have been convicted for the murder.
Daniel Karonji, David Gituku and Daniel Wachira were convicted at Nyeri High Court for killing Lucy Wangui at her home at Gatuiga village in Nyeri County on September 3, 2010.
“In the ultimate I find the accused guilty of the offence of murder as defined under section 203 of the Penal Code and convict them accordingly,” ruled Judge Ngaah Jairus.
The court was told that Wangui (deceased) suffered multiple cut wounds and burns on different parts of her body and the injuries turned out to be fatal as she succumbed and died four days later, on September 7, 2010.
The accused were her neighbours.
The prosecution case was told the accused were on a revenge mission; they attacked the deceased because the latter had previously complained and testified against Karonji and Gituku in Nyeri Chief Magistrates’ Court Criminal Case No. 5461 of 2003.
In that case, the accused were charged with robbery with violence contrary. They were alleged to have robbed the deceased and injured her in the process.
They were convicted and sentenced to death; however, they lodged a successful appeal against both the conviction and sentence. They were retried and subsequently acquitted on August 5, 2010, just about four weeks before the deceased was attacked.
On the fateful night the deceased had just had supper with her employee David Mwangi in a detached kitchen.
As Maina retired to his house, approximately ten metres away from the kitchen, he heard the deceased scream, struggling to call out his name.
He responded and rushed outside the house to rescue her. He found the deceased set ablaze and being attacked by three men.
With the help of his torch and the light from the fire he was able to recognise the accused persons as the assailants.
The first two accused lived in the neighbourhood and he had known them from the time they were released from prison. As for the third accused, he had known him for the past four years he had been in the deceased’s employment since, like the rest of the accused, the third accused lived in the same neighbourhood as the deceased.
“The deceased was in a seated position, with her back held against the wall as the thugs struck her,” said Maina.
They repelled Maina and ran after him; he escaped and hid himself in his house from where he shouted for help.
“After about 20 minutes I went back to the kitchen and found the deceased still burning but the thugs had left,I put out the fire using water,”Maina said in his testimony.
The first accused stated that he was at his home on the night of the deceased’s attack.
It was his defense that none of the prosecution witnesses ever implicated him. He also testified that his sister whom he named as M had been married to one of the witnesses but they divorced. According to him, He testified against him because of the divorce.
Like the first accused, the second accused also testified that he was at his home on the night of the attack and only learned of it from the police officers who arrested him on September 4 ,2009. He denied that he had anything to do with it.
As for the third accused, he said that he only learnt of the deceased’s death when he was charged in court and denied that he murdered her. He admitted, however, that he was arrested with the second accused on the morning of 4th September, 2010.
“The manner and the circumstances in which she was attacked, the injuries she sustained and from which she eventually succumbed suggest that the assailants’ actions were premeditate; in other words, there was malice aforethought,” ruled Judge.
With this kind of background, I am bound to believe Maina (PW14) when he says that he could recognize the accused persons when he rushed to the scene in response to the deceased’s person cry for help. According to his evidence, they confronted him and perhaps to save his life, he had to take refuge in his house.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *