INADEQUATE EVIDENCE

Woman charged with murdering husband’s lover freed

Witnesses said they heard accused complaining about affair and that she planned to murder woman

In Summary

• Judge says eight prosecution witnesses did not corroborate their evidence

• Lawyer had argued witnesses could not substantiate that they saw the accused kill

Embu law courts
MURDER CASES: Embu law courts
Image: REUBEN GITHINJI

After six years in the corridors of justice, the High Court yesterday acquitted a woman accused of stabbing her husband’s alleged lover to death as he watched.

Benedita Gacugu was acquitted of murder for what Justice Florence Muchemi said was lack of enough evidence against her.

Muchemi agreed with lawyer Momanyi Gichuki, for the suspect, that the eight prosecution witnesses did not corroborate their evidence.

 

She said owing to the contradiction of the sequence of the events by the witnesses, the charges were not proven beyond reasonable doubt and freed Gacugu.

Gichuki had argued that the prosecution witnesses could not substantiate that they saw the suspect kill the deceased.

Gacugu had been accused of killing Nicoleta Mugwe on May 7, 2013, at Kabobua Ka Nyama market, Mbeere North subcounty in Embu County.

Her husband, Amos Njuki, had told the court that he was shopping at Ishiara market at 7.30pm when he saw his wife with a knife and stab the deceased, who was sitting outside Clement Njeru's shop.

He said after the stabbing, the deceased fell dead inside the shop. The suspect fled thereafter, Njuki said.

He claimed the night was too dark for him to get home and spent in a friend’s house. He found his wife home the following forming.

Later, he reported the previous day's stabbing to the area chief and his wife was arrested and booked at Ishiara police post.

 

Other witnesses said they had heard the accused complaining about Mugwe over an alleged affair with her husband and that she planned to murder her. 

In the same court, Josiah Njoka and Abinja Njue were acquitted of murder after Judge Muchemi found there was no proof that they murdered George Allan Murangiri.

Njoka and Njue were accused of murdering  Murangiri on May 12, 2016, at Kandori village, Kieni North in Embu.

The deceased is said to have had a brawl with the accused in a bar before they were separated. His body was later found in a coffee farm.

Muchemi said the prosecution failed to prove the duo murdered Murangiri, noting that witnesses' evidence was circumstancial.