Court: Self-confessed Mogotio serial killer unfit to stand trial


Moses Kipchirchir Ruto at Kabarnet High Court in Baringo County when he appeared before Justice Weldon Korir to take plea over murder charges on January 24, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The High Court in Kabarnet, Baringo County, has ruled that self-confessed serial killer Moses Kipchirchir is unfit to stand trial. 

Mr Kipchirchir appeared before Justice Weldon Korir after reportedly killing his wife Purity Chebet, son Ezra and Nakuru businesswoman Veronicah Kaninio. He is said to have killed the three between September and November 2021.

In a recorded voluntary confession, Kipchirchir said he has killed at least nine people. Police, however, have only recovered three bodies in different shallow graves.

A psychiatric report presented in court by the police and filed by a doctor identified only as Karanja SW indicated Kipchirchir had been arrested as a suspect in the murder of 24 people. Dr Karanja’s report indicated Kipchirchir said he is a devil worshipper and gets instructions from the devil on who to kill. He said he was recruited into a cult by a woman.

“He had bizarre delusions that he is a devil worshipper. In his perception, he had auditory and visual hallucinations of a woman who instructs him to kill people,” Karanja said.

The doctor said Kipchirchir had no medical history of mental illness or a chronic condition.

“He has no history of being admitted to hospital. In his family history, he says both his parents passed away. His father died due to alcoholism while the mother succumbed to a viral disease.” The doctor said the suspect, who is a resident of Mogotio, dropped out of school at Standard Three after his mother died. He started working as a herder, farmhand in irrigation schemes, and as a mason.

The report said Kipchirchir disclosed that he murdered his first wife and his one-and-a-half-year-old child in September. In November last year, he remarried a woman who is currently expectant.”

Kipchirchir was arrested last year after he assaulted his wife by cutting her on the leg. He was released after serving four months following a presidential pardon. “He denied using any substance ... and his personality is sociable,” the report read in part.

Karanja noted that the accused exhibited symptoms of mental illness which he attributed to schizophrenia. “His mental status is not stable and requires admission for further observation and possible treatment. He is not fit for the plea,” the psychiatrist added.

Justice Weldon Korir said he had seen the report dated January 26 and upheld the findings of the mental assessment report.

“I will refer the accused for treatment at Nakuru Provincial General Hospital. He will be held at Nakuru GK Prison and the prosecution to file a report on the progress of his treatment,” Korir said. He directed that the case be mentioned on February 21 to find if Kipchirchir will be in a position to take the plea.

Kipchirchir was arrested on November 13 after he was found to have transferred money from businesswoman Veronica Kanini’s M-Pesa account to his the previous evening. Kanini had been reported missing after she made a distress call to her family.

After being held at Mogotio Police Station, Kipchirchir on November 23 led the police to the banks of Molo River in Mogotio where he had buried her. He would later confess to having killed his wife and son earlier in September and buried their bodies kilometers from where Kanini’s body was found.

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