Man who killed neighbour over cup of milk convicted

Milk being poured into a glass. [Courtesy]
A trader found guilty of stabbing to death his neighbour will know his fate on July 24.

David Njoroge was on May 21 found guilty of murdering Kennedy Waithigo after the latter accidentally spilt his milk.

Nakuru High court Judge Janet Mulwa postponed his mitigation and sentencing after the accused's lawyer Kerubo Maobe failed to attend court.

Judge Mulwa said that the accused could not mitigate for himself since he is represented by a lawyer.

"The accused's lawyer is absent and therefore his mitigation and sentencing cannot proceed, " she said.

Ms Mulwa said this after the defendant requested to mitigate with the claims that his lawyer has been failing him by missing court severally.

"The accused's claims are noted but the court records that the lawyer was present during the judgement last month. The court directs that the lawyer be notified on the mitigation and sentencing date," directed Mulwa.

Njoroge had denied stabbing Waithigo severally for accidentally spilling his milk on August 20, 2014, at Costarica Trading Centre in Rongai Sub-County, Nakuru County and his trial commenced.

Last month however the high court ruled that the accused committed the offence and with intentions to cause death.

“The accused committed the offence with malice aforethought and had all the intentions to cause death to (Waithigo),” said Mulwa during the judgement.

Justice Mulwa added that evidence provided by all eight prosecution witnesses pointed to the accused as they were direct and all were at the crime scene.

“The evidence by three of the witnesses present during the incident corroborated each other,” she said.

A pathologist's report presented in court on the cause of death was consistent with witnesses’ statements, she added.

“The accused followed (Waithigo) and stabbed him not once but several times on the left chest and buttocks despite interventions from one of the witnesses. The fact that he carried a knife knowing it was a dangerous weapon proved that he had intentions to cause death,” Mulwa said.

Before the judgement, Waithigo’s wife Lydia Wanjiku had testified that she found the deceased helplessly lying in a pool of blood while bleeding from his left side of the chest and his buttocks.

Eye witness Paul Gichego testified that he saw the accused and the deceased quarrelling and upon asking the reason for the fight, the accused informed him that the deceased had spilt his milk.

“I separated them, but the accused followed the deceased, tripped him, removed a knife from his shirt and stabbed him on left chest and buttocks after which the deceased staggered and fell down,” testified Gichego.

Jacinta Wanjiru another eye witness testified that the spillage of the milk was accidental.

“The accused was carrying the milk in a container and as he passed by, the deceased accidentally knocked the accused spilling the milk in the process, testified Wanjiru.

She testified that after the accused stabbed the deceased, he left the scene with the murder weapon.

Earlier, Njoroge defended himself saying he was framed by two of the witnesses who he had had an altercation with over his cow.

The suspect also claimed that when the crime was committed, he was at home with his sisters.

However, the court overruled his defence and took it as an afterthought.

Judge Mulwa said that the accused never cross-examined the witnesses on his claims and also never brought his sisters to confirm his alibi defence.

“The accused’s defence is, therefore, an afterthought, untruthful and not persuasive and the court has rejected the defence because it is a fabrication,” she ruled.

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David NjorogeKennedy WaithigoKerubo MaobeSpilt milk