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Michael Muthini who killed Embu Catholic Priest given 30 years in prison

Michael Muthini, 26, was convicted and sentenced after pleading guilty by Judge Lucy Njuguna for the murder of Embu Catholic Priest Father Michael Kyengo alongside two others on the night of October 8 and 9, 2019 within Makima area.

The 43-year-old priest was based at Thatha Parish in Machakos County.

In his mitigation through lawyer Kirimi Guantai, the accused alleged that he killed the Embu Catholic Priest out of extreme anger and grief after he sodomized and infected him with HIV/AIDS.

A remorseful Michael Muthini had pleaded with the court to treat him with kindness and mercy and commit him to a non-punitive sentence claiming he was a victim of injustice.

“The person you see here before you is not a cold-blooded murderer but a boy who was taken advantage of and I ask the court to put into consideration the ‘why’ because it tells the whole story,” lawyer Guantai said.

While delivering the judgment, Judge Njuguna said there was no justification for committing the heinous crime, adding that even if he was sodomized as alleged, he should have used the legal avenues open to him to get justice so that the Embu Catholic Priest could face trial.

She also took issue with the conduct of the accused after committing the offence where he is alleged to have withdrawn over Sh400, 000 from the deceased M-Pesa and bank accounts in a span of three days as well as took possession of his vehicle and converted it into personal use.

Judge Njuguna further noted from the Victims Impact Report that the family of the deceased was still bitter and frustrated as he was the sole breadwinner and only healthy member of his family.

“I find that the circumstances under which this offence was committed call for a severe and deterrent sentence,” the judge ruled.

Following the judgment, the deceased family members and colleagues expressed satisfaction with the ruling saying justice had been served though they were yet to come to terms with the loss of a man they regarded as diligent and dependable.

“I feel justice has been served and appreciate the judiciary in that it did not take long to pass judgment,” his colleague Father Francis Maundu of the Catholic Diocese of Machakos said, adding that his departure had left a big gap in his ministry.

His cousin, Nicholas Mbithi said his death was a big blow to the family as he was the only sole provider as his siblings were incapacitated by Down syndrome (a genetic disorder that causes developmental and intellectual delays).

According to the prosecution, Michael Muthini, who is charged alongside Kavivya Mwangangi and Solomon Mutava was arrested at Kiboko Trading Center along Nairobi-Mombasa Highway while driving the vehicle of the deceased.

Assorted items belonging to the deceased were discovered in the vehicle including his driving license, duplicate insurance certificate and two mobile phones according to the prosecution.

By the time the body of the priest was discovered, it had badly decomposed and had to be subjected to DNA profiling alongside his relatives to establish a real identity.

His co-accused who have so far denied committing the offence are out on bonds of Sh 300, 000 with their case mention being set for November 17 for directions with regard to hearing.

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