Day 1: Slain university student Ivy Wangeci was threatened, court told

Slain Moi University student Ivy Wangeci. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

A close friend to slain Moi University student Ivy Wangeci has told the court the accused, Naftali Kinuthia, had threatened the deceased through text messages about a month before her death.

The prosecution presented a cybercrime report showing communication between Kinuthia and Wangeci's friends.

MC, in her testimony before Justice Stephen Githinji, stated Kinuthia was nagging her friend and tried wooing her by buying her gifts and spending money on her.

He wanted a relationship but Wangeci was reluctant.

Demanded a refund

She told the court Kinuthia argued that he had spent money on Wangeci and that he wanted compensation. She said at some point after Wangeci refused to yield to Kinuthia’s relationship demands, he made a claim that he had spent around Sh200,000 on Wangeci and that he wanted a refund.

"He started sending threatening messages to me saying he had spent on Ivy and he was going to do something 'stupid' in revenge and that it could end in death. He said that no coin of his would go to waste," testified MC.

MC further testified that Kinuthia had stalked Wangeci barely a week before her murder.

"She (Ivy) told me the accused had showed up at the hostel and asked her to get into his car so they could talk. But she was scared and rushed to her hostel and did not get back to him," said MC.

MC dispelled allegations that Wangeci was in a relationship with the key suspect in her murder. She told the court the two were childhood friends and had no other relationship.

“To the best of my knowledge, the two were only friends and were never in a romantic or intimate relationship,” said MC.

Ivy blocked Kinuthia

Another friend AH, who was Wangeci's classmate, said she advised her to inform her parents and report the stalking to the police.

She said Wangeci downplayed and instead cut communication and blocked Kinuthia.

AH told the court he had known Kinuthia through Wangeci in 2017. She told the court that at some point, Wangeci had blocked Kinuthia from texting or calling her prompting him to lie to her that he had reported Wangeci at a police station in Nairobi, for insulting him and that she (Wangeci) was wanted by the police.

“He later apologized and confessed to me that he was lying about the issue of the police case and we knew that he was lying to us to get Ivy’s attention and to meet her” said AH.

She added that she had interacted with Kinuthia sometime in 2018, when had bought a car and drove to Eldoret to pick them up to Nairobi, as schools were closed and they were headed home.

“Ivy had protested his idea to pick us from Eldoret but he insisted. He then came and gave us a lift to Nairobi and dropped me first at my home before dropping Ivy. Ivy later texted me that she got home safely. Later that week, Kinuthia reached me claiming that Ivy had blocked him,” testified AH.

She added that she had been scared for her late friend when she learned about the incident where Kinuthia showed up unannounced at the hostel claiming that he wanted to talk to her friend.

Kinuthia is accused of hacking to death the medical student using an axe on April 9, 2019 outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret town.

The hearing of the case continues today and tomorrow (December 16 and 17).