The High Court in Nakuru has acquitted former Rift Valley Water Services Board human resources assistant officer, Lillian Chepchumba Keter, of murder charge that had been leveled against her.
Chepchumba was accused of killing her husband, Ronex Kipkemoi, an employee of Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company Ltd., on April 16, 2016.
While passing a verdict of not guilty on Monday, Justice Joel Ngugi said the Prosecution failed to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Chepchumba killed her spouse.
Also charged alongside the accused, were Chepchumba’s two relatives, Fredrick Koech (brother) and Daniel Mwaciru (nephew).
Koech and Mwaciru were also set free over lack of sufficient evidence against them.
Chepchumba told the court that her partner committed suicide by hanging.
In her affidavit, the defendant said she was shocked to find the body of her husband hanging from an electrical cable tied to their wardrobe’s clothes rail crossbar on April 16, 2016.
According to Chepchumba, Kipkemoi had unsuccessfully attempted to kill himself on multiple occasions before the eventual success on April 16.
Justice Ngugi said the Prosecution failed to prove that Chepchumba or her two close relations were directly involved in Kipkemoi’s death.
The judge further said witnesses produced in court by the Prosecution also failed to link Chepchumba, Koech and Mwaciru to Kipkemoi’s murder.
“The statements given by the witnesses, contradict the Prosecution’s narrative of Kipkemoi’s death. Therefore, the court is not convinced to convict the accused persons,” ruled Justice Ngugi.
The judge observed that the Prosecution failed to debunk the possibility that Kipkemoi committed suicide.
“No forensic tests were conducted on the electrical cable and the clothes rail crossbar to establish whether they contained the deceased’s finger prints, DNA, or blood,” said Justice Ngugi.
The judge further observed that no tests were done by DCI detectives to determine the length of the electrical cable allegedly used in the suicide.
“No one established whether the electrical cable was too short to wrap around the deceased’s neck. Had that been done, it could have assisted in ruling out the possibility that Kipkemoi used the wire to hang himself.”
Chepchumba was — until her acquittal — accused of killing her husband Ronex Kipkemoi on April 16, 2016, at their Kiamunyi home in Nakuru County.
Chepchumba told the court that her husband’s family “had a history of suicides”.