40-Year Sentence for Naftali Kinuthia in Ivy Wangechi Murder Case

December 15, 2023

Naftali Kinuthia has received a 40-year prison sentence for the brutal killing of Ivy Wangechi in 2019.

Justice Stephen Githinji convicted Kinuthia on Thursday, December 13 in a virtual ruling from the Malindi High Court, marking the conclusion of the four-year murder trial.

In his ruling, Justice Githinji acknowledged the suspect’s plea but asserted that the sentence was proportionate to the heinous crime for which he was found guilty.

Through his lawyer, Kinuthia had expressed remorse for the crime and asserted that he had undergone a transformation during the four years he had spent in remand.

“My client has expressed his sympathy to the family of the victim and he even attempted to reach out to them for reconciliations though in futile. He is so remorseful and he is pleading with this court for a non-custodial sentence,” lawyer Wokabi Mathenge for the accused told the court.

The court learned that Wangeci and Kinuthia had been friends since childhood. In an unexpected turn of events, their relationship soured when the victim reportedly rejected his romantic advances, leading him to brutally attack and kill her outside Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).

“On that fateful morning, I saw my lover hugging another man. I cannot pinpoint the moment I decided to retrieve the axe from my car, which I had parked near the Emergency department of MTRH. I was not myself,” the convicted killer recalled.

During a virtual court session, Justice Githinji ruled that the prosecution had successfully proved the offense of murder.

RELATED – Naftali Kinuthia Found Guilty of Butchering Ivy Wangechi

Judge Dismisses Naftali Kinuthia’s Defense

The judge scrutinized Kinuthia’s defense, dismissing his claim of provocation after his estranged girlfriend ended their relationship and eloped with another man, despite his substantial investment in the relationship.

During the trial, the 33-year-old IT expert informed the court that despite investing significantly in Wangechi over the years, she rejected him due to his height, openly hugged another man in his presence, and capitalized on his financial contributions despite not intending to continue their relationship.

“I forever regret the death of Ivy. She was innocent. There are so many ways we could have resolved our differences. I was not happy when the deceased told me, through her close friend, that she did not love me because I was too short,” Kinuthia confessed.

Kinuthia testified that he continued providing financial support to Wangeci even as their relationship grew distant. He claimed to have spent over Sh. 100,000 on her and was attempting to recover the amount from her parents upon realizing that their romantic connection was not flourishing.

The convict further informed Justice Stephen Githinji that, just before the fatal incident, he had sent Wangechi Sh. 7,000 for her birthday, expressing disappointment that he had not been invited to the celebration.

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