A DNA test on items collected by police from the house of slain businesswoman Monica Kimani did not link the prime suspect, Joseph Irungu alias Jowie, to the scene of the crime, a court heard yesterday.
The investigating officer, Chief Inspector Maxwell Otieno, testified that the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) profile of Mr Irungu did not appear on the samples recovered from the house.
Testifying before Justice Grace Nzioka, the detective said the samples were picked from Ms Kimani’s house at Lamuria Apartment in Kilimani for DNA sampling following her murder on September 19, 2018. They included glasses, food, wine and gloves that had been
“From these materials, please confirm Jowie’s DNA did not appear,” defence lawyer Hassan Nandwa told the witness. The detective said “yes”. The purpose of the materials from the crime scene was for comparison with known samples taken from the suspect during investigations.
While being cross-examined by the defence lawyer, the prosecution witness said Monica had taken alcoholic drinks with three people in her house, including Mr Irungu, just hours leading to her death.
The other two were named in court as a Mr Owen and a Mr Walid. The three men visited her home on September 20, 2018 upon her arrival from Juba, South Sudan, where she had gone to run a family business.
“They were taking drinks. Jowie was moving around the house eating food. Walid was taking wine while Owen, Jowie and Monica were taking whiskey. Jowie would go to the kitchen to serve himself,” said Mr Otieno.
Owen and Walid were already in the apartment when Mr Irungu walked in, wearing a white kanzu and a cap. She introduced him as Joe.
The court further heard that there was also another visitor identified as Anthony Kariuki alias Kaka, who is said to have received a “strange” message from the businesswoman on the fateful night at 11.09pm after he left her house. He received a text message reading “Come and help me sleep” from Monica’s phone and he replied, “Kesho” (tomorrow).
During the cross-examination, the witness was also pressed by the defence lawyer over his earlier claims that Mr Irungu burnt “a blood-stained white kanzu” to destroy evidence.
The investigator, who is from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters’ homicide section, said his claims were based on suspicion that the reason Mr Irungu could have burnt the kanzu could have been because it had blood. He added that he never saw the kanzu.
“I said that to support reasons the accused persons could burn the kanzu was a probability of it having been stained with blood,” said Mr Otieno.
Mr Irungu allegedly burnt the cloth at Royal Park Estate Lang’ata, where he was living with television journalist Jacqueline Maribe. The lawyer referred the court to the evidence of another prosecution witness, Jennings Orlando, who said “Jowie returned to the car still wearing the kanzu”.
Mr Irungu and Ms Maribe are charged with Monicah’s murder. They denied the charges and are out on bond.
The hearing continues.