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Kenyan to spend life in US prison for murder

BUSINESS
By | June 25th 2010

By BMJ MURIITHI in Atlanta, USA

A Kenyan has been found guilty of brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend as their two children watched in Lynn, Massachusetts.

A Lawrence Superior Court sentenced Patrick Waweru to the mandatory term of life in prison after he was found guilty of first-degree murder for the October 2007 stabbing of Esther Kinyanjui.

Waweru, 31, was convicted on Tuesday after a five-day trial and three and half hours of jury deliberations.

Prosecutors told court Waweru lured Esther by telling her there was a court hearing she must attend and should, therefore, make immediate arrangements to travel to Massachusetts from Delaware.

Intention to kill

The court heard that after Esther arrived at her sister’s apartment, Waweru forced his way into the house and declared his intention to kill her.

Esther’s mother, Ruth Nyamu, 57, jumped onto Waweru’s back in a futile attempt to stop him. She was, however, overpowered as the assailant pulled out a knife and repeatedly stabbed Esther in the neck.

Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall argued the murder was premeditated. In addition to the murder charge, jurors also found Waweru guilty of home invasion, reckless child endangerment and armed assault with intent to murder.

In mitigation on behalf of his client, defence lawyer Russell Sobelman said Waweru might have been mentally unstable when he committed the crime.

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