‘I killed my girlfriend out of anger,’ man tells court

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

A 28-year-old man has confessed to killing his university lover four years ago out of anger.

Mr Edmond Ruto who pleaded to a lesser charge of manslaughter after entering a plea bargain agreement claimed to have been overwhelmed with fury when he brutally hacked to death his 21-year-old girlfriend Cynthia Chelang’at on February 19, 2018.

At the time Ms Chelangat was a third-year student at Egerton University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture while Mr Ruto was a fourth year Economics and statistics student at the same university.

When he appeared before court on February 21, 2018, Mr Ruto had denied the charge of murder and was released on bond.

However, after a three-year trial, he reneged on his earlier position and decided to enter a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution which he agreed to the offence of having killed the woman by stabbing her on the neck and stomach before attempting to commit suicide.

However, the suspect during his mitigation before the Nakuru presiding judge Joel Ngugi claimed to regret his actions which he brought unimaginable pain to both his and Chelangat’s family.

“It pains me to imagine that I am the cause of her death. I regret for allowing my anger get the best of me and I am sorry to the family,” said Mr Ruto.

While pleading for a lenient non-custodial sentence Mr Ruto claimed to have turned anew after undergoing anger management training, psychiatric and mental health treatment during his time at the remand at the Nakuru GK Prison.

He produced a certificate to prove the training which he said is ready to use the skills to help other students overcome similar situations.

The court further heard that Ruto’s family has already approached Chelang’ats family and held positive talks on the cleansing ceremony in order to forgive him.

The ceremony according to his family will involve taking a cow to her family.

The suspect claimed to have six siblings and parents who depended on him, because he is the only child who excelled in education.

Mr Benhard Kipkoech Ngetich the lawyer holding brief for the family however said the family wants tough punishment for Mr Ruto as it was not their wish to see the suspect freed.

Mr Kipkoech reminded the court the brutality that was met on Ms Chelangat by Mr Ruto who had shown no remorse since 2018 until the time he entered the plea bargain in 2022.

He called upon the court to sentence the suspect to a minimum of 20 years as suggested by the prosecution to serve as a lesson to couples in relationships who use their spouses as punching bags.

“The world must know that men and women are not instruments in relationships, but are human beings with dignity which has to be upheld and respected,” said Kipkoech.

In the gruesome murder incident, Mr Ruto allegedly stabbed Ms Chelangat six times on the neck before turning the knife on himself at their Njokerio hostel outside the University premises.

Mr Kipkoech explained that Chelang’at was a single child to a mother who is traumatized, cries every day while she sells pineapples and is still fighting for the justice of her daughter.

The court will deliver its verdict on September 29.

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