Court postpones Kinuthia's sentencing in murder of Ivy Wangeci

Murder suspect Naftali Kinuthia at Eldoret High Court. He has been found guilty of killing Ivy Wangeci. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Naftali Kinuthia, the prime suspect in the brutal murder of Moi University medical student Ivy Wangeci will be sentenced on December 13.

Justice Stephen Githinji, sitting at the High Court in Malindi, postponed the sentencing of the accused after it emerged that a pre-sentence report was yet to be filed in court.

Advocate Kiroko Ndegwa, representing the family of the late Wangeci told the court that his clients were yet to be involved in the preparation of the pre-sentence report by the probation officer.

The judge then directed that the report be prepared and filed in court before the sentencing date.

He said that the accused will be allowed to mitigate before the sentencing.

“I direct the Deputy Registrars from Eldoret and Malindi courts to liaise and ensure that the pre-sentencing report is filed in good time. This matter has come a long way, and we are approaching the tail end of it,” said the judge.

Last month Justice Githinji found Kinuthia, 33, guilty of the student's murder which took place outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) on April 9, 2019.

The judge, who has been presiding over the case before his transfer to Malindi High Court, said that the prosecution had proved their case beyond reasonable doubt.

The Judge ruled that Kinuthia bore malice aforethought and had bought a new axe which he used to end the student's life in broad daylight.

“If he had no intention to kill, he had the opportunity to attack the victim using his bare fist. But he had an axe and a knife and used the axe, a lethal and dangerous weapon, to strike the medical student,” he said.

“There are other axes smaller with wooden handles. The accused had a metal axe with a metal handle and claimed that he had it in his car for security reasons. I do not agree with him,” he added.

The Judge further said that Kinuthia did not even use a knife in his possession to attack Wangeci, which would have probably given the deceased a second chance at life.

“The accused never even used the knife to attack the deceased, as this would have given Ivy a chance to survive. He used the axe and hit the deceased not once but twice on the head and neck, leaving her with no chance to survive,” reads the judgment

He dismissed the accused's allegations during his defense hearing that he was in an intimate relationship with Wangeci.

In March, Kinuthia gave sworn testimony in his defense after the prosecution closed its case, having lined up about 20 witnesses to give their evidence in chief.

He has been in Eldoret GK Remand Prison since he was arrested in connection with the killing.