Man sentenced to death for killing his niece in Homa Bay

A high court judge has handed a man death sentence for killing his niece in Homa Bay County.

While issuing the judgement, High Court judge David Majanja convicted Felix Onyango for the murder of his niece Sheryl Akinyi whose body was found dumped in a bush at the hills of Osodo village within Mbita in Homa bay County in December 2011.

According to the evidence presented by the prosecution, the deceased was in company of another child following her mother who had gone to cut wood for charcoal with Mr. Onyango but after a while she was found dead while the accused had disappeared.

The court heard that on the fateful morning of December 15, 2011 the mother to the deceased, Millicent Adongo had gone with the accused to the nearby hills to cut down trees for burning charcoal but while she continued to work, the accused left without saying anything to her.

The post mortem examination conducted at Homa bay District Hospital Mortuary confirmed that the deceased had multiple bruises on the left jaw and on her head with massive subcutaneous hemorrhage on the neck and back without fractures. It also revealed that the lungs were pink in color indicating deprivation of oxygen although the ribs had no fractures. The cause of death was therefore concluded to be suffocation due to asphyxia caused by strangulation.

"I find and hold that the fact and cause of death was proved by the prosecution. There was no evidence that the deceased was sick or unwell when she met her death. I also reject the accused's testimony that he saw the deceased alive and fully dressed after his arrest as this is inconsistent with the testimony of all the witnesses who viewed the body. The postmortem conducted revealed that the child had been strangled. I therefore find and hold that the deceased died and that she died as a result of strangulation," said Justice Majanja.

He added that no one saw the accused kill the deceased hence the case against him was grounded on the circumstantial evidence and that the prosecution had posited that the accused is the only person who could have murdered the deceased based on the fact that his black, red and green woolen cap was found near the deceased's body so soon after her death and that the conduct of the accused after the act was inconsistent with his innocence.

"I am therefore satisfied that the prosecution proved the case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt. I find the accused guilty of murder of the deceased and I therefore convict him," said the judge.