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Man convicted of hacking university girlfriend to death carried axe in ‘self-defence’

By Titus Ominde November 23rd, 2023 2 min read

Naftali Kinuthia, who was found guilty of the brutal murder of Moi University medical student Ivy Wangeci, will know his fate on December 13, 2023, after a High Court judge sitting in Malindi adjourned his judgment on Wednesday.

Justice Stephen Githinji adjourned the judgment due to what he termed as a delayed presentation of the pre-sentence report from probation officers.

While presiding over the case virtually, Justice Githinji noted that it was improper for the court to go on and sentence Mr Kinuthia before being served with a pre-sentence report which is his right as an accused person.

Justice Githinji directed the Eldoret High Court deputy registrar and his Malindi counterpart to work with probation officers to ensure that the report is served to all parties as soon as possible.

“I have noted that this matter has come a long way and we are approaching its tail end I have noted that the pre-sentence report from probation is yet to be prepared and served to both parties to allow the defence to prepare for mitigation. In that regard we shall have the matter for mitigation and sentencing on December 13,” ruled Justice Githinji.

Justice Githinji further directed the probation department to prepare the report on time so as to allow the defence to go through it on time.

The judge who has been presiding over the matter since the case started in 2019 before he was transferred to Malindi a year ago urged all parties to work together to ensure everything will be ready on time as directed.

This is the second time the judgment has been adjourned.

On October 26, 2023, the Judge said that the judgment was not yet completed.

Despite the adjournment, the families of the accused and victim have expressed hope of getting justice.

Lawyer Ndegwa Muhoro for the family of the deceased said the adjournment is understandable and they will be patient with the court to ensure that due process of the law is followed

Since the case started more than 20 prosecution witnesses have testified in the matter.

On several occasions, Mr Kinuthia recounted the tragic events leading to the student’s murder outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.

The charge sheet stated that Mr Kinuthia murdered his ‘lover’ on April 9, 2019.

He told the court that on the day of the incident, he had driven from Nairobi to Eldoret to attend Ivy’s birthday, set for April 10, 2019.

During the previous hearing, Mr Kinuthia told the court that before the incident they were not on good terms hence curtailing their communications as lovers.

Mr Kinuthia told the court that he was angered by the deceased when she told him that her new boyfriend would sort out all her birthday expenses.

“It is true that before traveling to Eldoret for her birthday, she had told me her new boyfriend would handle the expenses for her birthday and that I was not invited,”Mr Kinuthia told the court.

He further revealed that he was deeply hurt by the rejection hence provoked into doing what happened due to jealousy.

However, questioned regarding the axe used in the fatal attack on her lover, he told the court he routinely carried the axe for personal defence.

Despite Mr Kinuthia insisting that they were lovers, Ms Wangeci’s friends refuted his claims.

While testifying during previous hearings majority of Ms Wangeci’s friends told the court that the two were not lovers but Mr Kinuthia often nagged her by even enticing her with money.

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