Kericho night guard sentenced to death for murder   

A 34-year-old security guard was sentenced to death after a Kericho High court found him guilty of killing a man who pleaded his innocence after he was discovered resting at a grocery shop.

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

The accused committed the offense on July 16, 2017 at Kabianga market in Kabianga division within Kericho County.

The prosecution brought to court nine witnesses who gave collaborating evidence against the accused.

The court revealed that on the fateful day at around 3am, the accused who worked as a night guard for a security company was tasked to patrol Taplotin-Kabianga road and at that time, he was alerted by three night guards who worked for several landlords at the market that a grocery stall had been broken into.

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

Mutai woke up the deceased by kicking his head and asked him to produce his identification card.

The deceased responded that his ID card was with his employer and the accused slapped him on the face while continuing to interrogate him as to his whereabouts and about his family.

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

The accused removed his knife and hit the deceased on the head using the weapon. The intruder stood up and tried running away but ended up kneeling begging for forgiveness.

Mutai removed a bow and arrow while the deceased begged to be spared. One of the witnesses told the court while under oath that the deceased told the accused that he could confirm his identity from a well-known man in the area.

The accused failed to listen to the deceased’s pleas at which point the deceased stood up and ran away at which point Mutai then released an arrow aimed at his back. The arrow hit the deceased’s back and he fell down landing into a deep ditch near the grocery stall.

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

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

A doctor who performed the post mortem told the court that the cause of death was a result of massive internal and external bleedings as a result of sharp object and sharp cut wound in the neck. The internal bleeding was caused by 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 defense 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.

In mitigation, 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.

A probation report tabled before the court revealed that a probation officer was not able to contact the family of the deceased since the deceased hailed from Bomet County while the accused person was a resident of Kericho County.

Lady Justice Ongeri found the accused guilty of the charge, observing that his mitigation appeared as an afterthought as the same was not raised during the trial.

She noted that the accused had no regard for the sanctity of human life adding that the two witnesses who attempted to stop the accused from assaulting the deceased were futile.

“I accordingly sentence the accused person to suffer death as by the law required,” said Lady Justice Ongeri. The court gave the accused 14 days to file an appeal.



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