• Accused maintained his innocence, said his wife had just gone back to her parents' house.
• His nephew testified he told him he and his wife fought over a missing chicken and he left her lying on the floor. Blood collected from soil.
A Busia man who killed his wife during a fight over his missing chicken has been convicted found guilty of manslaughter.
Antony Paste Obwolo had been charged with murder. In his judgment, however, Justice Kiarie Waweru found him guilty of manslaughter, ruling the prosecution did not prove murder.
"It would appear that this was a disagreement that resulted in a fight where the deceased was fatally injured," he ruled.
The prosecution said that in December 2019 at Okwata village, Teso South, Obwolo murdered Eunice Akisa in a quarrel over a missing chicken.
Justice Kiarie noted Obwolo has maintained throughout the trial that he was innocent, his wife was still alive and had gone back to her parents' house.
However, the prosecution said that Obwolo's wife was fatally injured and her decomposing body was found in a marshy area. The court ruled Obwolo's wife was killed and he had a hand in her death.
"In the instant case, I find the circumstantial evidence against the accused cannot be explained in any hypothesis other than that of his involvement in the death of his wife," the judge said.
He also said Obwolo's nephew had testified against him, saying his uncle confided he had a fight with his wife over a chicken.
"Geoffrey Ibukui testified the accused confided in him that he fought with the deceased over his missing hen and that he had left her lying down in the house," the judgment reads.
The judge noted Ibukui's testimony contradicted Obwolo's that his wife had left for her parents’ home.
The court also said the bloody soil sample collected from the house identified the scene of the violence and showed there was a fight that led to his wife's death.
The court said, however, as there was no evidence of malice on Obwolo's part, a murder charge cannot be sustained.
"The evidence of Ibukui as to what the accused told him immediately the incident occurred does not support the offence of murder," Kiarie said.
The court said other evidence painted a picture of a couple that was fond of each other as they were constantly together.
"I, therefore, find the prosecution has not proved the offence of murder. However, the prosecution has proved beyond any reasonable doubt the lesser offence of manslaughter," the judge ruled.
(Edited by V. Graham)