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Officer to serve 20-year jail term for murder

By Erick Abuga | August 20th 2019
Constable Joseph Mauti when he appeared before Kisii High Court Judge Justice Majanja. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

A policeman has been jailed for 20 years for killing a watchman.

Joseph Mauti was Convicted of shooting dead Dominic Oyunge Ontumi, a watchman at a bar in Nyakegoi sub-location, Sameta sub-county, in April this year.

According to court documents, Mr Mauti was attached to Sameta Police Station.

On the material day on April 11, 2019, Mauti entered the bar at Itumbe market and shot Mr Oyunge, killing him on the spot.

The bar is located less than 400 metres from the police station.

Oyunge had been hired as a guard at the bar a few days after quitting his boda boda job.

Four people testified, among them Oyunge's father, who said his son was the family's sole breadwinner.

The defence asked for a non-custodial sentence, arguing that the accused was remorseful, had a young family and had served the police force for 16 years without any problem.

“He is a police officer of 16 years standing with a young family that is dependent on him. He served the police without blemish and is remorseful,” the defence had argued.

Kisii High Court judge David Majanja, however, declined the request for a non-custodial sentence, saying that Mauti was very much aware of the consequences of his action. 

“The accused’s actions as outlined in the judgement were deliberate and the fact that a life was lost is a matter I cannot ignore. I reject the plea of a non-custodial sentence.

“I have considered the mitigation alongside the fact that the accused committed murder. He was a police officer with a heavy responsibility for the use of his firearm. I am now called to impose an appropriate sentence bearing in mind that the maximum sentence for murder is a death penalty,” said Majanja.

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