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Four found guilty of killing couple

By Faith Karanja | November 9th 2018

Four relatives have been found guilty of killing two of their family members.

John Mwinzi Kinyiri, Mugao Kinyiri, Eric Mulungye Kinyiri and Erastus Syengo Kinyiri were found guilty of manslaughter for killing their half-brother Japheth Mwinzi Kinyiri and his wife Ruth Kanini Kimanzi on December 8, 2014.

Garissa High Court judge George Dulu also found Japheth's step-mother Muliwa Kinyiri guilty of assault.

The five, alongside Mutati Kinyiri, Sarah Kamunda Mwinzi, Rachael Mwende Mulungye, Purity Makasi Kinyiri and Anastasia Muthoni Kinyiri, all relatives, had been charged with the murder of the two in Siokereke village in Tseikuru sub-county, Kitui County, on December 8, 2014. The latter five were, however, acquitted.

Mr Dulu convicted John, Mugao, Eric and Erastus of manslaughter. “...from the totality of the evidence, the killing of Japhet Kinyiri was not with malice aforethought or premeditated, and was thus manslaughter as it arose from an altercation that morning,” the judge said.

The judge ruled that there appeared to have been a simmering problem which only awaited an explosive moment. The relatives were wrangling over a piece of land that was left behind by their grandfather.

Kangaria Mwinzi, 21, had told court she saw her parents killed. “I was at the farm with my sister, aunt Wanja Kimanzi and mother... Our father joined us after about an hour,” said Ms Kangaria.

Shortly after, Erastus called his sister Anastasia from a nearby farm and told her to "bring the implement". Mugao picked a machete and a stick and walked into the farm screaming: “This man has bothered us!” Erastus then called his brother John, (John's) wife Sarah, Eric Mulungye and Purity to the farm. Kangaria said they surrounded the couple and threatened to kill.

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Kangaria said John threw a stone at Japheth. Muliwa hit him with a stick, and as the witness tried to leave with his sister, Mugao and John hit him with hoes and he fell down.

Eric hit Japheth's head several times. Sarah then pointed at the witness with a hoe. Kangaria ran to a nearby bush where she found her sister. From there they saw the attackers surround Ruth, who lifted her arms.

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