A 50-year-old man has been sentenced to death by a Kericho Court after he was found guilty of killing a man who reportedly disapproved of his love affair with his (deceased’s) mother.
Kericho High court Judge Lady Justice Asenath Ongeri found Richard Kipyegon Langat alias Kichokio guilty of murdering Bernard Kipkoech Tonui on 24 November 2018 at Taban village in Ainamoi sub-county at about 1am.
The prosecution produced six witnesses all of who gave collaborating evidence against the accused. The court heard that on the fateful day the convict arrived at a ceremony while armed with a machete and met the deceased whom he cut several times before fleeing the scene.
Before dying, Kipkoech raised alarm and villagers rushed him to Kericho County Referral hospital where he succumbed to the injuries while undergoing treatment.
A family member testified that the accused had a love affair with the deceased’s mother which the deceased disapproved.
The witness added that Langat walked around with a machete and had threatened to kill the deceased. They believed the incident meant the accused had finally made good the threat by attacking him viciously leading to his death.
A doctor who performed the post mortem told the court that the cause of death was pulmonary embolism that caused heart failure adding the deceased had sustained deep cut wounds on his right leg, right arm and head. A P3 was tabled before the court as evidence during trial.
The accused underwent a mental assessment examination at Kericho County Referral Hospital that found him fit to stand trial.
In his defense the accused gave an unsworn statement before the court. He said that he was arrested when he went to a police station at Fort Tenan to report an incident that had occurred in his house whereby he was attacked by unknown people.
In mitigation he said he had two wives and 11 children and was the sole breadwinner adding both the deceased and himself were intoxicated at the time of the offence and thus his judgement was impaired.
A probation report tabled before the court indicated that neither the accused nor his family had shown any meaningful commitment towards reconciliation and therefore the deceased’s family preferred a custodial sentence for the accused to serve justice to their kin.
Lady Justice Ongeri found the accused guilty and handed him death penalty saying the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubts.
“The accused person inflicted fatal injuries upon the deceased with malice aforethought and motive of the murder was the deceased objection to a love affair between the deceased’s mother and accused person. I find that the prosecution has proved the guilt of the accused person to the required standard, beyond reasonable doubts and I convict the accused person as charged,” she said.
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