A 25-year-old charged with killing a Fourth Year Egerton University student today pleaded temporary insanity when he stabbed his girlfriend to death on February 19, 2018, at Njokerio estate in Njoro, Nakuru.
Edmond Ruto, then a third-year student of Economics and Statistics, killed Cynthia Chelang’at then a fourth-year student pursuing a Bachelor's in Agriculture.
Ruto told Nakuru High Court Judge Joel Ngugi that Chelang’at’s death was his fault and admitted that he was angry when he stabbed her six times.
“I am the cause of everything and it pains me because my actions brought unimaginable pain to both Chelangat’s family and mine. I am sorry and I regret everything,” pleaded Ruto.
Since he was detained at Nakuru GK Prisons on March 2, 2018, Ruto said he has learned how to manage his anger.
Over the four years, Ruto said he underwent training on anger management issues, physical and mental health, and psychiatric care. He produced a certificate.
“If I knew then what I know now, maybe Chelang’at would still be alive today,” he said.
He pleaded with the court to give him a non-custodial sentence of three years so that he can use his skills to help other students in similar situations. He said he has six siblings and parents who depended on him because he is the only child who excelled in education. He is also a first offender, he pleaded.
Further, Ruto said his family approached Chelang’at’s family this year and held talks on how to hold a cleansing ceremony and forgive him. The ceremony involves buying a cow and taking it to Chelang’at’s family.
Noting that the two were not married, Ruto’s family had to speak to Chelang’at’s clan elders.
However, speaking on behalf of Chelang’at’s family, lawyer Kipkoech Ng'etich said the family still wants a stringent sentence against Ruto.
He said no ceremony has been conducted and freeing Ruto is not the wish of the family.
“Ruto’s family had time between 2018 and 2021 but they did not ask for forgiveness until 2022. Their action is not in good faith,” said Kipkoech.
Kipkoech told the court that Chelang’at was brutally killed by Ruto, someone she trusted.
“The deceased was stabbed in the neck, stomach, and lower limb,” said Kipkoech.
Further, Kipkoech wants the court to remind people in relationships built on trust that their partners are not slaves.
“To send a message to men and women who use their spouses as punching bags, the court should give the accused a severe sentence, as an example to others,” said Kipkoech.
He reminded the court that Chelang’at was a single child to a mother who is traumatised, cries every day while she sells pineapples, and is still fighting for justice for her daughter.
“The world must know that men and women are not instruments in relationships, but are human beings with dignity which has to be upheld and respected,” said Kipkoech.
The court will sentence Ruto on September 29.