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Homa Bay man found guilty of murdering his two step-sons

NYANZA
By Harold Odhiambo | October 12th 2021

The convict, Walter Okaro, will be sentenced on Thursday, October 14, 2021. [File, Standard]

A middle-aged man from Ndhiwa in Homa Bay County has been found guilty of murdering his two underage step-sons.

Walter Okaro poisoned and strangled the minors at his Rimu Village home in Ndhiwa on October 25, 2015.

Okaro locked the main house door from the inside, poisoned the two minors and strangled one of them. The boys’ mother was at work during the incident.

The Homa Bay High Court heard that prior to the incident, the convict had burnt the children’s clothes.

According to court documents, Okaro, on October 25, 2015, asked his biological child, an 8-year-old girl, to accompany a neighbour’s child to the shop before killing his wife’s two children.

Though there were no eyewitnesses, who saw Okaro killing the children, circumstantial evidence linked the suspect to the crimes.

Okaro’s wife, Beatrice Atieno, and daughter were among those who testified against him.

His daughter said when she returned from the shop, she found the main door locked from the inside and that her step-siblings were screaming inside the house.

Okaro’s wife said on that day, she’d left for work at 6am as usual, only to be informed that something strange had happened at her matrimonial home.

“A young girl, who knows me, brought the house keys to my workplace, and told me my husband had instructed her to hand over the keys to me. I was surprised as that was strange,” she said.

Atieno immediately left for home, only to find several neighbours in her compound.

“I accessed the house. One of my sons was already dead, while the other was writhing in pain on the floor. I took the survivor to hospital, but he died while undergoing treatment,” she said.

Dr. Kevin Osuri, who conducted postmortem on the children, said the two died of poisoning.

“One of them was strangled after being poisoned,” Dr. Osuri said in his postmortem report.

Okaro, however, denied killing his step-children, saying he was not at home during the incident.

The court ruled that circumstantial evidence placed the accused at the crime scene.

“The killing of the two children was carefully planned by the accused. He ensured that there were no eyewitnesses by sending children who were present at his home to go and buy mandazis,” said Justice Waweru Kiarie.

“I, therefore, find that Prosecution has proved malice aforethought, and I, consequently, find the accused guilty of the offence of murder, and accordingly convict him,” said the judge.

Okaro will be sentenced on Thursday, October 14.

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