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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Man Found Guilty of Murdering Wife After Staging Her Suicide

Businessman Mutua Mwanzia has been convicted of murdering his wife, Mary Wanjiku Waweru, and staging the scene to appear as suicide.

The verdict, delivered by High Court Judge Anne Ong’injo at the Mombasa High Court, marks a significant legal conclusion to a case that has been ongoing since 2016.

The court found Mwanzia guilty based on circumstantial evidence, despite no direct witnesses to the crime.

According to Judge Ong’injo, Mwanzia was the last person seen with the deceased, and his movements on the morning of the incident(May 13, 2016) could not be fully accounted for.

“The only inference that can be drawn from the circumstances is that Mwanzia was involved in the murder of the deceased and made the scene look as if she had committed suicide,” the judge said.

The prosecution’s case hinged on compelling evidence of malicious intent. The court highlighted Mwanzia’s use of a pesticide and a cable to simulate suicide by hanging the deceased from a window grille. This deliberate staging pointed to premeditated malice on the part of the accused.

Moreover, toxic substances found in the deceased’s system, as analyzed by government experts, further supported the prosecution’s argument that her death resulted from foul play.

Judge Ong’injo emphasized that the presence of poisonous substances and the position of the deceased at the crime scene strongly indicate that her demise was due to an unlawful act committed by someone.

In reaching the guilty verdict, the court dismissed Mwanzia’s defense that his wife’s death was a suicide.

“In conclusion, the court finds that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. The accused is found guilty of the offence of murder and is accordingly sentenced,” the judge said.

The judge also observed that although pathologists believed the deceased died from possible neck compression and asphyxia due to hanging, the court examined photographs of the deceased and concluded that it was not feasible for someone to die by hanging from a height significantly less than their own body height.

“It does not make sense that the deceased could have ingested pesticide and then hanged herself,” she said.

The pictures depicted the deceased tied to the lower grille of the bedroom window, leaning on the bed with her legs extended on the floor.

Despite conflicting testimonies and allegations of marital discord, including reports of domestic violence witnessed by their children, the judge concluded that the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to murder.

Throughout the trial, the prosecution presented 16 witnesses, including the deceased’s children, who recounted a history of parental discord and violence.

The minor children testified to witnessing their father’s abusive behavior towards their mother, providing crucial testimony that contributed to the court’s understanding of the family dynamics.

Mwanzia denied killing his wife. The charge sheet indicated that he allegedly committed the offense on May 13, 2016, in the Ushindi area of Likoni sub-county.

Mwanzia’s defense attempted to portray him as a victim of circumstances, alleging financial disagreements with his wife related to their business ventures. He claimed they operated several businesses together, including an M-Pesa outlet and a hairdressing salon, where financial discrepancies had caused friction between them.

The courtroom also heard of previous incidents where the deceased had reportedly attempted self-harm, adding complexity to the case.

Mwanzia recounted an incident from 2008 when his wife allegedly overdosed on medication after accusing him of infidelity. However, these accounts did not sway the court’s assessment of the current charges.

The sentencing phase now awaits, where Mwanzia faces a lengthy prison term for his crime.

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