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January 21, 2019

Woman gets 30 years for murdering spouse

Martha Auma Nyagol who was found guilty of murdering her husband, sentence to 30 years in Prison.
Martha Auma Nyagol who was found guilty of murdering her husband, sentence to 30 years in Prison.

A woman who mysteriously disappeared from a Kisumu court after being convicted for Murder of her husband has been sentenced to 30 years in Prison.

High Court Judge Justice David Majanja High Court judge Justice David Majanja on Thursday sentenced Martha Auma Nyagol, a P1 trained teacher from Kabondo, Homa Bay County, after finding her guilty of strangling her husband Jared Ochieng' on May 27, 2014.The incident took place between 26th and 27th at Kanyakwar in Kisumu East constituency.

Majanja noted that according o the post sentence report, the woman has a child who is three years old and she is the sole breadwinner of her daughter. Her family pleaded with court to give her a non custodial sentence.

The judge noted that the offence of murder carries the maximum of penalty of death. However, he said, considering the factors, the serious nature of the offence, the plea of mercy and the accuser’s circumstances, a custodial sentence is warranted.

“I therefore sentence the accused to 30 years imprisonment,” stated Majanja.

During the hearing of the case, the accused had stated in her sworn affidavit that on that material night, her husband arrived home around 9.00pm and asked her to prepare a bath for him.

As she prepared the bath, the deceased went out to receive a call from his brother, after the call, he went to the bathroom and while he was bathing, the accused saw three masked men enter the house.One of them held a gun went to where she was and ordered her to keep mum, too their phones which were on the stool in the bedroom and switched them off.

He took the accused while belt which hang on the wall as two other dragged the deceased from the bathroom to the corridor.

She stated that the men placed the white belt around the deceased neck and order her at gun point to pull the belt until the deceased was lifeless.

In the case, PW1 and PW4 testified that the deceased had been having matrimonial problems with the accused which would have led to her to murder the deceased.

Nyagol had pleaded innocence claiming that she was coerced into strangling the husband at gunpoint by assailants who had broken into their house.

But in the judgment, Justice Majanja rejected this claim, saying she may have indeed had the assistance of the assailants.

“On my own evaluation of the evidence, I find and hold the accused was alone in the house on the material night when on her own admission, she strangled the deceased, I reject her defense that she was under compulsion when she strangled the deceased and may have indeed had assistance of the three assailants she referred to”.

He further stated that the act of strangling a person is cold, calculated and deliberate. It’s intended to cause death and accordingly constitutes malice.

"I therefore find the accused guilty of the murder of Jared Ochieng Otieno,"he stated.

Immediately after being found guilty on March 21, the accused who was to remain in custody until her sentencing date in April 11, mysteriously disappeared from the court.

This was realized after Justice Majanja notice she was nowhere within the court room after questioned her whaleboat forcing him to adjourn the court in what he termed as security breach.

However the next day, Nyagol presented herself before the court with her advocate Steve Odumbe defended her saying she was apologetic for what had transpired adding that her action were not intentional hence more reason she came back to court.

Odumbe said her client thought she was to come back on the stated date by Judge since she has always been out of bond.

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