Kericho: Night Guard Sentenced To Death For Murder

An image of a judge's gavel. [PHOTO | COURTESY]

A 34-year-old man was sentenced to death by the High court in Kericho, after he was found guilty of murdering a man at Kabianga trading center in Belgut constituency.

Justice Asenath Ongeri passed the sentence against Richard Kiprotich Mutai after he was found guilty of murdering Erick Kipkemoi Ngetich.

The accused was charged with committing the crime on July 16, 2017 at Kabianga market.

Mutai, who worked as a night guard, is accused of committing the crime while on patrol when he was alerted by three colleagues that a grocery stall had been broken into.

The accused, together with the three night guards, went on a search mission and found Ngetich sleeping inside the grocery shop.

Mutai is said to have woken Ngetich up by kicking his head and asking him to produce his ID card.

Ngetich responded that his ID card was with his employer and the accused slapped him, while continuing to interrogate him.

The accused then asked the deceased why he was sleeping at the grocery shop and he replied that he had taken alcohol and had fallen asleep at the grocery shop.

The accused removed a knife and hit the deceased on the head Ngetich stood up and tried to run away.

Mutai  is then said to have removed a bow and arrow and the deceased who was kneeling pleaded not to be harmed as he was not a thief and one of the witnesses told the court while under oath that he told the accused that he could confirm his identity from a well known man in the area.

The accused failed to listen to his pleas. Mutai then released an arrow aimed at his back. The arrow hit the deceased’s back and he fell down, landing in a ditch near the grocery stall.

The prosecution had lined up nine witnesses.

One of the witnesses told the court that he tried to intervene but the accused removed a knife and tried to cut his leg and he escaped with minor injuries.

Two witnesses told the court they tried to stop the accused person from assaulting the deceased to no avail.

A doctor who performed the postmortem told the court that the cause of death was a result of massive internal and external bleeding as a result of a sharp object and sharp cut wound in the neck. The internal bleeding was caused by a penetrating arrow through the neck of the deceased.

The accused underwent a mental assessment examination at Kericho County Referral Hospital that found him fit to stand trial.

The accused in his defence told the court that he operated as a security guard working from 6am to 6pm and at 11pm he was called to a bar where a man was found with a metal bar and knife, adding that the weapons were taken to the Kabianga AP camp.

The accused added that a night guard working for a supermarket in the area called on him for help with information that it had been broken into by a gang of three men who had put off the lights of the building. Mutai stated that they raised alarm and called on another watchman guarding a church in the area for assistance and two of the thugs managed to escape while one was lynched by a mob. He said police were alerted and two days later police went to his house and arrested him.

The weapons produced in court as exhibits included a sword, two arrows, an arrow head and a bow all which the accused denied belonged to him.

The accused said that he committed the offence while under the influence of alcohol and he did not intend to kill the deceased as he was protecting his employer’s property thinking that he was a thief.

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