Kenyan in US killings to be sentenced

January 14, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 –  A Kenyan who killed his wife and two of their children in the United States in October last year is due to be sentenced on Friday.

Justus Kebabe who was arrested and charged for killing wife Bilha Omare 32, and children Kinley and Ivyn admitted to the charges when he appeared at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Centre.

The court said Mr Kebabe\’s sentence would be made on January 14 by District Judge Elena Ostby.

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 and Mr Kebabe could spend up to 50 years in prison.

When he was arrested, Mr Kebabe admitted in court that he struck his wife in the head with a golf club and then strangled her with an electric wire in the family\’s third floor apartment in the Willow Ridge Apartments in the 1200 block of County Road D.

In his own plea, said he gave two of their 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.

The bodies were discovered 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, Minnesota.

His three-year-old daughter was found in the car, unharmed.  There was no immediate 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.

Bodies of the three were buried in the US after a tussle between the woman\’s family over whether they should be buried in Kenya.

If convicted, 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.

The plea came at an omnibus hearing for Mr Kebabe, 43, in October last year at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Centre next door to the jail.

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