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Man found guilty of murdering epileptic aunt in Kisii

WEDNESDAY LIFE
By Dennis Mbae | November 25th 2015

On the evening of November 28, 2008, Stephen Oragi left his house in Gucha, Kisii County and went to check on his epileptic relative, Florence Mogoti, with whom he had planned to attend a funeral the following day.

Upon arrival at her house, a few metres away, Orago noticed the door to her kitchen was ajar and on looking inside saw Mogoti lying on the floor.

He rushed to her side and hastily put a stick in her mouth. But he soon discovered she was dead. A closer look revealed severe injuries to her head, neck and legs, and blood oozing from her mouth.

After Orago and other family members reported the death at Etago police station, the deceased’s body was moved to Tabaka Mission Hospital Mortuary.

Two days later, while Mogoti’s funeral arrangements were going on, traces of blood were found on the floor and walls of a house belonging to Caleb Ochonga, a nephew of the deceased.

Ochonga’s failure to explain the presence of blood in his house prompted family members to alert the police who responded immediately. But he fled and went into hiding.

On searching the house, police found a blood stained machete and a club under Ochonga’s bed, which they took together with samples of blood from the floor and walls and sent them to the Government chemist for analysis.

The analysis revealed that the blood found in Ochonga’s house matched that of the deceased.

It did not take long for police to trace and arrest Ochonga. He was eventually charged with murder at the High Court in Kisii.

Ochonga told the court he was innocent and claimed his arrest was arbitrary. The court, however, found him guilty and sentenced him to death. He unsuccessfully appealed at the Court of Appeal in Kisumu.

He argued before justices Daniel Musinga, Agnes Murgor, and Stephen Kairu that the analysed blood whose group turned out to be A could have been anyone’s, not necessarily the deceased’s, because no DNA test was conducted.

Ochonga further wondered why he was linked to the murder and yet he neither lived in the same house with Mogoti nor was there any trail of blood leading from his house to where the deceased’s body was found.

While throwing out the appeal last month, the appellate bench concurred with the High Court that at some point before her demise, the deceased must have been in Ochonga’s house.

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