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Court finds Naftali Kinuthia guilty of murdering Ivy Wangeci

By Titus Ominde October 26th, 2023 2 min read

A man who hacked his girlfriend to death outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret in 2019 has been convicted of murder.

The High Court in Eldoret found Naftali Kinuthia,33, guilty of murdering Moi University medical student Ivy Wangeci four years ago.

Mr Kinuthia, an IT expert, was on October 26 found guilty of the offence in a ruling by Justice Reuben Githinji.

Through a virtual session from the Malindi High Court where Justice Githinji has been transferred and the Eldoret main Prison, Justice Githinji ruled that the prosecution had proved the offence of murder beyond reasonable doubt and the accused stands convicted.

“The prosecution has proven the case of murder against the accused beyond reasonable doubt and I will decide on his fate on November 22 after hearing his mitigation,” ruled Justice Githinji.

In his ruling, Justice Githinji poked holes into Kinuthia’s defence.

Mr Kinuthia had told the court he was provoked after the deceased, whom he was in a romantic relationship with, ended their relationship and eloped with another man.

Mr Kinuthia further narrated to the court how he had heavily invested in the relationship.

“After finding the accused guilty, this court will give him a chance to mitigate before deciding the sentence in relation to the murder,” ruled the judge.

Ms Wangeci 25, was a final-year medical student at the time he was hacked to death on April 9, 2019, in an incident that shocked the nation.

In his defense, Mr Kinuthia, a Computer Science graduate at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) confessed how he hacked his girlfriend to death in broad daylight and termed the action as ‘an act of provocation’.

He admitted to killing his girlfriend with an axe for what he called being overwhelmed by anger in fear that his childhood friend had betrayed him.

Mr Kinuthia narrated to the packed court how he financially supported his slain lover during his time in school. He admitted to also funding her birthday parties.

On the fateful day, he told the court he travelled from Thika where he was working, to Eldoret for what would have been a surprise visit to her longtime partner on her birthday.

In a strange twist of events, things turned sour between the two after the victim allegedly turned down his advances, prompting him to hack her to death.

“On the fateful day in the morning, I left for a few metres and on turning back, I saw my lover hugging another man, ‘I cannot even tell the moment that I decided to pick the axe from my car that I had packed near the Emergency department of MTRH. I was not myself,” recounted Mr Kinuthia.

He had told the court he was remorseful over the incident even as he accused his longtime lover of using a lot of money from him knowing very well that she was no longer interested in their romantic relationship.

“I regret the death of Ivy as she was innocent. There are so many ways we could have resolved our differences instead of killing her,” said Mr Kinuthia.

The prosecution closed its case in June 2022 with the State presenting more than 10 witnesses among them the mother and two uncles of the slain medical student.

Mr Kinuthia denied the murder charge when he was arraigned before Eldoret Court for plea taking.

He has been remanded at the Eldoret GK remand prison since his arrest.

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