Trio jailed for murdering old man over witchcraft claims

Kapenguria high court has sentenced three middle-aged men 25 years each after being found guilty for murdering a 72 years-old man over witchcraft allegations.

Richard Rimoi, Benson Muketiang and Wilson Lemereng were accused that on December 28, 2017 at Chepkuikui village within Pokot Central sub-county, they murdered Ringetiang Tomeluk.

The accused trio denied committing the offence and the prosecution called six witnesses in support of its case.

According to Samson Ringetiang, one of the witnesses told the court that on the material day at around 5.00pm, he was in a meeting convened for the purpose of sorting out witchcraft allegations against the deceased.

“During the meeting the deceased was beaten hard and dragged along the ground. His hands were tied by and then burnt,” he said

He further identified that Muketiang, the second accused, was the one who lit the match and set him ablaze after petrol had been sprinkled on him.

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Dr Jotham Mukhola, medical superintendent at Kapenguria county hospital, told the court that there were multiple bruises on both lower and upper limbs and other parts of the body.

He added that the lungs had a deposit of carbon which were due to inhalation of the smoke.

According to Mukhola the cause of the death was acute bleeding inised the deceased's accompanied with 60 per cent burns secondary to blunt force trauma and dry heat.

Before convicting them, Justice Ruth Sitati, in her ruling pointed out that the evidence was sufficient to tie the trio to the murder.

“From all the foregoing, I am satisfied that the prosecution beyond proved that charge of murder against each of the three accused persons beyond reasonable doubt. In the circumstances I sentence each accused person to 25 years imprisonment,” said the Judge.

The convicts have 14 days to appeal.

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Kapenguria high courtwitchcraft allegationsRingetiang TomelukPokot Central sub-county