Kenyan man to hang for killing wife

September 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – A 40-year-old man has been sentenced to death for shooting and killing his wife and a butcher two years ago in Kiambu.

High court judge Jessie Lessit sent Henry Karanja Muiru to the gallows after she found him guilty of killing Keziah Wairimu and Jesee Gitau Kabiru on November 1, 2008 at Nderi Trading center in Kiambu.

Justice Lessit observed that the prosecution proved its case against the accused beyond any reasonable doubt.

She dismissed claims by the accused that he was at a different place from where the crime was committed, saying evidence showed he was seen walking away from the butchery after shooting the deceased persons.

“There is no doubt the accused was identified by four eye witnesses after he fired several shots at the victims,\’\’ she said.

Justice Lessit dismissed Mr Muiru’s defense that he was carjacked when the fatal incident occurred as an afterthought. The judge observed that no proper account was put by the defence about the defendant’s whereabouts when the incident occurred.

“The prosecution case is watertight and the court is satisfied beyond any reasonable doubt that he shot and killed the deceased. The prosecution has proved the two charges of murder against him and I convict him accordingly,\’\’ she ruled.

In mitigation, Mr Muiru had urged the court not to impose the death penalty, arguing it is no longer a mandatory sentence. It was also his argument that he was the sole surviving parent of his two children who are now under his care.

But the judge said “a man who obtains a firearm and shoots his wife should not expect any leniency or sympathy. The children should not be used as his defense as they will always remember that he caused the death of their mother.\’\’

Added the judge: “Considering the circumstances of this case, death is the only appropriate sentence considering that the attack whose motive is not known was brutal and uncalled for.\’\’

Cartridges that were recovered from the bodies of the victims after examination proved they were fired from a firearm belonging to the accused.



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