, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – A Kenyan who killed his wife and two of their children in the United States about a fortnight ago could face up to 76 years in jail if convicted of the triple murders.
The county attorney\’s office in Ramsey said it would be asking for three consecutive sentences of 25 years and six months for each of the three counts of second-degree intentional murders that Justus Kebabe has confessed to, according to a report in the Star Tribune.
The newspaper said Mr Kebabe, 43 would only be eligible for parole after serving at least 50 years in jail, meaning the earliest he could leave prison will be at the age of 93.
He admitted to killing his wife Bilha Omare 32, with a golf club and then strangled her with electrical wire in the family\’s third-floor apartment in the Willow Ridge Apartments in the 1200 block of County Road D.
In his plea, Mr Kebabe said he gave two of the children cranberry juice laced with Tylenol PM pills before killing Kinley Ogendi, 12 by holding his head underwater and Ivyn Ogendi, 9 by suffocating her with a pillow and strangling her.
Mr Kebabe admitted to the charges earlier this month when he was arrested and repeated the plea during a hearing at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Centre on Friday.
The plea came at an omnibus hearing for Kebabe, 43, at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Centre next door to the jail. He will be sentenced on January 14 by District Judge Elena Ostby according to the Star Tribune.
On Friday afternoon, he pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree intentional murder for the deaths earlier this month.
The bodies were discovered early on October 14 after a relative, concerned about Mr Kebabe\’s erratic behaviour called 911.
Mr Kebabe was arrested by a state trooper the previous evening after his vehicle ran out of gas on Interstate 35 near Faribault, Minn.
His three-year-old daughter was found in the car, unharmed. There is still no explanation why he killed the two older children and spared the youngest.
Mr Kebabe told investigators he was angry because he believed his wife was being unfaithful.
He tried to kill himself at the Ramsey County jail on October 14 by stuffing a wad of toilet paper into his mouth to block his airway. He has been on suicide watch since he was taken to the jail.
The killings came just a few months after Mr Kebabe was discharged from probation after a December 2008 incident of domestic violence. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and was on probation for a year.
In a police report, his late wife told a sheriff\’s deputy that Mr Kebabe had abused her repeatedly, including knocking her unconscious when they lived in Kenya.
Mr Kebabe went to the United States in 1996 and she followed in 2003.