Kenyan teenager gets one year probation for manslaughter

A 19-year-old teenager will serve one year of probation after admitting that he unintentionally killed a 12-year-old boy for calling him by his nickname.

The accused, labeled as RMM, was first charged with assault on March 19 last year but this was later changed to murder. But following a plea bargaining agreement between the Form Three student and the state, the murder charge was reduced to manslaughter.

High Court judge Pauline Nyamweya in her ruling dated July 13 found that the accused did not intend to kill the boy on February 22, 2015.

The judge noted that RMM's family had approached the family of deceased to discuss compensation under Kamba customs, and they had agreed to settle the matter out of court.

"I consider a non-custodial sentence to be appropriate in the circumstances of this case, and for the reasons that the accused is a young student who is aged 19 years, and has a desire to pursue his education; he has been in custody for more than one year since his arrest and arraignment in court on March 19, 2015, and his family and the victim's family have reconciled and that both support a non-custodial sentence," the judge ruled.


"I have considered the facts of the case and the circumstances in which the deceased's death occurred, as well as the mitigation and probation report. It is evident that the accused had no intention of killing the deceased by the act of lifting him off the ground. The act of falling on the ground is what caused the deceased's death and there was, therefore, no malice aforethought," ruled Ms Nyamweya.

The court heard that on February 22, 2015, the deceased was playing with others when the accused passed by the field. The 12-year-old called the deceased by his nickname, which annoyed him. He lifted the deceased off the ground and when he landed, he hit his head and fell unconscious.

The accused then picked a polythene bag containing Sh100 from his victim and left him on the ground. On coming to, the youngster followed RMM and demanded his money back. RMM slapped him twice on the head and the boy went home crying.

A short while later, he collapsed and was rushed to a nearby dispensary. He was referred to Machakos Level Five Hospital and later to Kenyatta National Hospital where he died on February 27.

The judge noted that RMM's home was good enough for anger management, rehabilitation and counselling.