• The three had been arrested in connection with the killing of a couple in Embu last month.
• Police boss says the suspects should not have been freed as they faced possession of bhang charges.
Three of the seven people who had been arrested in connection with last month's murder of a couple in Embu have sought police protection after their friend was lynched.
They surrendered to Itabua police station soon after Daniel Kinyua was killed last Thursday. The mob torched his house and his parents’ two houses, destroyed crops and killed goats and rabbits in the homestead.
Household items belonging to other suspects were set ablaze.
An Embu court had the previous day unconditionally freed Kinyua, Kelvin Gitonga, Boniface Gitonga, Dennis Munene, James Gitonga, Joseph Ndwiga and Michael Gitonga after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations failed to associate them with the murder of Joseph Gitonga and his wife Caroline Kaari on October 14.
The suspects had been in police custody for seven days.
County police commander Daniel Rukunga on Monday said the suspects should not have been freed as they faced possession of bhang charges.
Rukunga said they "sneaked out of custody in unclear circumstances" after senior principal magistrate Henry Nyakweba freed them on the murder charge.
He said the three will be charged with escaping from custody. The police are also trying to establish how they were released in connection with the couple's murder.
The police boss condemned the Thursday lynching, adding that the culprits would be found and prosecuted.
Gitonga and Kaaari were killed in their house at Kathakame, near Kithimu market. Their killers locked their children, aged 10 and six, in a separate room.
The wife was tied with ropes before she was clobbered to death. The killers waited for the husband and killed him with a blunt object.
On Thursday, the enraged mob demonstrated at Kithimu market before trekking five kilometres to Kinyua’s home at Kimangaru village.
They dragged him out of the house and killed him. They piled dry wood and a tyre on his body and set it ablaze.
Bloodstained bedsheets, curtains and a television suspected to belong to the murdered couple were found in the house.