Court postpones pretrial conference in Irene Gakwa’s case
A Judge in Campbell County District has said that the next pretrial conference in the case where a Kenyan woman Ms Irene Gakwa went missing in the United States will be in January 2023.
The Judge issued the orders and granted a second continuance to Mr Nathan Hightman, 39, who is the main suspect in the disappearance of Ms Gakwa from her home in Gillette, US.
The main suspect was, in May 2022, charged with three felonies related to financial crimes against Ms Gakwa, 33, after he transferred money from her bank account.
The other two charges involve crimes associated with changing her banking password and deleting an email account.
Gakwa was reported missing by family on March 20 after moving from Idaho to Gillette with Hightman in the summer of 2021. The duo met on an online dating site.
Already, Hightman has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and says that Ms Gakwa left after they disagreed, never to return again.
The continuance request was made by Hightman’s lawyer Mr Dallas Lamb, and it was granted for the second time.
His first pretrial conference in district court in Campbell County had been set for September 1, 2022, but Hightman was granted a continuance until November 3, 2022, with his jury trial tentatively scheduled for December 5.
Two weeks ago, Nairobi News reported that officers attached to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) this week spent eight hours trying to decipher what might have transpired before she went missing.
The FBI officers were also accompanied by police attached to Gillette Police Department and had secured a warrant to investigate evidence tied to the case.
On the fateful day when the search was conducted, officers arrived at the house where the two lived, which is located along Pathfinder Drive in Northern Campbell County and condoned it off using crime scene tapes.
International media houses reported that “more than six vehicles were parked in front of the house.
“Detectives applied for and were granted additional search warrants to further the investigations. Analysis of evidence has led to the development of additional cause to return to the residence that Ms Irene shared with the main suspect,” a statement by Gillette Police Department read in part.
Police officers were seen leaving the premises with several items, including grocery bags and cardboard boxes.
They also refused to give information on whether Mr Hightman was at his house when the search was conducted.
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