A Kenyan University lecturer has been sentenced to death for murdering her husband in a row over family property.
Sheila Wanjiku Kibinge, said to be a university lecturer in the US and also a Ph.D. student, was handed the sentence on Tuesday by High Court Judge Jessie Lessit, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported.
“The prosecution, led by State Prosecutor Evelyn Onunga, has proved beyond reasonable doubt that you purposed to kill your husband although you allege you were both kidnapped the night your husband was executed,” Justice Lessit said.
The judge dismissed her defence that her husband was killed by kidnappers.
Justice Lessit told the court that the accused murdered her husband by shooting him in the head, neck and chest in Gitaru village, Kikuyu, Kiambu County.
“The number of shots fired at the deceased, Leonard Kibinge Kiruri on the night of April 14, 2014, establishes pre-meditated malice aforethought,” Justice Lessit stated.
Although the mother of two pleaded for leniency, the judge said, “there is only one verdict provided for in the law and that is “to suffer death in the manner prescribed by the law.”
Justice Lessit pointed out that there was no direct evidence linking her to the murder as the weapon used in the crime was never recovered. But she said circumstantial evidence and inconsistencies in her account of events were her undoings.
In her testimony, the woman said she walked away when she heard a blast from the suspected kidnappers before their car crashed into a fence.
She said she did not check on her husband, who was driving the car before it crashed, a fact that the judge faulted.
Justice Lessit said she found it interesting that after the incident, the accused bypassed the Kikuyu Police Station that was near the scene and went to report the matter at the Central Police Station in Nairobi.
Witnesses said the accused had also changed her clothes by the time she reported the matter to the police.