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Ivy Wangeci murder trial adjourned to February 2022

By Lynn Kolongei | Dec 17th 2021 | 3 min read
Slain Moi University student Ivy Wangeci. [Courtesy]

The hearing of the murder case of slain Moi University final year medical student Ivy Wangeci has been adjourned until February 2022.

Naftali Kinuthia is on trial for the murder of the 25-year-old, which he is alleged to have committed on April 9, 2019. 

The accused allegedly hacked Wangeci twice on the head with an axe outside Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) during a shocking mid-morning attack.

The case had been slated for a three-day hearing before high court judge Stephen Githinji from Wednesday, December 15 to 17.

“We are seeking an adjournment until a further date because three of the prosecution witnesses could not attend court. Two of them are indisposed, while one has an emergency to attend to. This is the first time the prosecution is praying for an adjournment in this case,” requested the prosecutor, Norah Limo.

Ms Limo told the court that the investigating officer, Lucky Sanga was present and ready to testify in court, but the prosecution preferred that he testified last, to give a summary of the whole case.

“The IO is present and travelled from Nairobi to Eldoret to give his evidence, but we prefer that we present him as the last witness,” added Ms Limo.

Murder suspect Naftali Kinuthia at the Eldoret High Court. [Peter Ochieng', Standard]

During the two-day hearing, five witnesses including three close friends of the deceased, a government analyst and a boda boda operator took the stand to testify.

The late Wangeci’s friends told the court that the accused was a stalker who could not handle rejection, as he ‘kept nagging Ivy into a relationship despite the deceased’s attempts to severally make it clear that she was not interested in a relationship with him.’

The trio told the court that Kinuthia had threatened to harm the deceased in revenge for the money he had spent on her, and that it would end in death.

Richard Langát, a government analyst, testified stating that DNA analysis he performed on exhibits collected at the scene of crime matched DNA samples collected from the deceased and Kinuthia.

Lang’at told the court that he had tested blood samples from Wangeci and Kinuthia which he compared against two exhibits, a light blood stained axe and a heavy blood stained shirt recovered by the scene of crime officers.

“Both exhibits were stained with blood from human origin,” said Lang’at.

He told the court that in his finding, the DNA profile generated from the axe matched the DNA profile of the deceased Wangeci meaning that the axe was used to hack her to death, while that on the shirt matched Kinuthia.

The three-day hearing of the case was set following Chief Justice Martha Koome’s directive that the matter be given a priority hearing following a public outcry of the delay of the case since 2019.

CJ Koome had written a letter addressed to Justice Githinji directing him to have the matter completed by October before his transfer to Malindi, where he is now the presiding judge.

Koome noted that if the case would not be completed by the prescribed period, Justice Githinji would be allowed to travel to handle the case in Eldoret to avoid further delay of the case.

During the next hearing, four prosecution witnesses are expected to testify before the prosecution closes its case, paving way for the defence team.

Kinuthia has been in Eldoret GK remand prison since he was arrested in connection with the killing.

The case will continue on February 24 and 25, 2022.

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