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Ivy Wangeci: Court told suspect confessed he hacked medical student to death

 

Naftali Kinuthia in court. The late Ivy Wangechi.

 

A detective has told the court that Naftali Kinuthia, the key suspect behind the murder of a Moi University medical student in 2019 confessed to having committed the crime.

While testifying before Eldoret High Court judge Stephen Githinji, former Deputy DCIO Joshua Shoka told the court that Kinuthia confessed to hacking Ivy Wangeci to death with an axe.

Mr Shoka said that he had recorded Kinuthia’s statement after the incident that led to the death of the sixth-year medical student. He told the court that Kinuthia had stated in his statement that he knew the deceased since they were primary schoolmates.

He narrated that Kinuthia had claimed that after their high school studies, they got into an intimate relationship and that while he was working in Nairobi, he would visit the deceased at university and sometimes supported her financially.

“Kinuthia said that he catered for the deceased’s birthday parties and on the fateful day, he had travelled to Eldoret to attend her birthday party scheduled for April 10, 2019,” stated the detective.

Kinuthia had also recorded in his statement that prior to the birthday party, his ‘girlfriend’ had informed him that the party would cost Sh28,000.

“He said that he had sent Ivy Sh14,000 and had the remaining amount which he wanted to give to her once he arrived. He drove to Eldoret aboard a Honda vehicle registration KCB 836 P,” stated the detective.

Kinuthia would then arrive in Eldoret on the morning of April 9, 2019. This was a day before Ivy’s (pictured below) birthday and the day she lost her life aged 25.

The court heard that he drove straight to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) Eldoret.

“He called the deceased but she did not answer the call. He then decided to wait for her between the MTRH and the student’s hostel. While waiting he saw the deceased in the company of another man. He imagined that she did not pick up the call because she was sleeping with the man,” the court heard.

“He (Kinuthia) became very annoyed and went to his car which he had parked at the hospital’s emergency section and picked an axe that he used to attack the deceased,” narrated the detective.

The detective told the court that Kinuthia had signed his statement and his advocate was present during the recording of the statement.

“I am providing the caution which was given to the accused person before he recorded his statement showing that he did so out of his free will and was not forced or pressured by anybody,” stated Mr Shoka.

The Investigating Officer (IO) Lucky Sanga who was at the time at Naiberi Police Station recounted that he had been informed by his boss about the murder incident outside MTRH.

He told the court that he went to the hospital’s emergency section and found Kinuthia who had been hospitalised after he was attacked by members of the public.

Mr Sanga provided exhibits, which were collected at the scene linking Kinuthia to the scene of the crime.

Among the exhibits were a blood-stained axe, a knife, a gunny sack, a phone and blood-stained clothes belonging to both the deceased and the accused as well as Kinuthia’s personal identification documents and eight tablets.

Chief Inspector George Aringo from the cybercrime and digital forensics laboratory at the DCI headquarters in Nairobi presented a 417 paged document containing communication messages between Kinuthai and Ivy between 2018 to the date of her murder.

Before the hearing of the case, Kinuthia had through his lawyer written to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) seeking a plea bargain.

He stated that he was ready to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter but the request was turned down by the prosecution.

After the three last witnesses’ testimonies in court, the prosecution closed its case paving way for the defence to begin. Justice Githinji will next month give a ruling date.