Rita Waeni Murder Case: 10-Day Custody Ordered for Apartment Owner, 3 Suspects

January 19, 2024

The owner of an apartment along TRM Drive in Kasarani, Nairobi County, where 20-year-old Rita Waeni was killed and her body dismembered, will be held in custody for 10 days.

Priscila Maina, along with three men arrested at the Green House Apartments next to the house where Rita was killed, will be held at the Kasarani police station.

On Wednesday, the four suspects were arraigned in court, where the DCI obtained orders to detain them pending investigations.

The other suspects were identified as Kelvin Mutiso, Eugene Omondi, and Brian Kinoti.

Ms. Maina was arrested for failing to register her tenant’s crucial details, as required by the law. This oversight could have assisted the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers in tracing the suspected killer.

“TRM Drive Apartment Owner’s Only Mistake”

Defense lawyer Eunice Katila opposed the application to detain the apartment owner, stating that her client had reported the incident to the police. The lawyer argued that Ms. Maina’s only mistake was the failure to register the personal details of the client who booked the apartment.

An unidentified man, who rented the BnB – house number B1 located on the first floor of the Green House Apartments, did not provide his particulars at the time of renting.

Detectives from the DCI revealed that Mutiso was found in house number B2, adjacent to B1, where Rita Waeni was slain. He informed the police that he had visited the house and spent the night there.

The detectives noted that at the time of his arrest, Mutiso had what seemed to be traces of blood on and underneath his nails.

The other two suspects – Omondi and Kinoti –  informed the police that they had spent time with Mutiso and had dinner together before parting ways on the night when Waeni is believed to have been killed.

Omondi, a student at Jkuat, said he had visited his uncle who resides in the next house to the one where Waeni was killed.

Kinoti, residing on the third floor of the apartment, said he joined Mutiso and Omondi to watch a football match before he returned to his house.

The lawyer for the three suspects, Steve Nyamu, also opposed the application, arguing that Ms. Maina had provided the phone number of the client who rented the house.

“Police are also in possession of CCTV footage showing the main suspect who does not resemble any of the three respondents,” Nyamu said.

Magistrate’s Ruling

Senior Principal Magistrate Justus Kituku of the Makadara Law Courts granted the detention following an application by Corporal Winnie Mworia of Kasarani DCI offices.

The magistrate pointed out that there is public interest in ensuring that thorough investigations are conducted and all those suspected are duly processed in accordance with the law.

“There is no doubt that the nation’s psyche has been gripped by the increased murder cases in Air BnB where victims have been lured and killed, raising public outrage and concerns about the safety of those bnbs. The most recent unfortunate incident is now what is before the court,” Kituku said.

He added: “Actually, it is in the best interest of the respondents (Ms Maina, Mutiso, Omondi and Kinoti) that they be thoroughly investigated and exonerated if they are innocent than hurried investigations where they charge only to be acquitted after a long trial.”

Kituku added that it is also crucial to note that there is a victim and her family who are looking forward to justice, emphasizing that they are equally protected by Article 50 (9) of the constitution.

Meanwhile, Corporal Mworia informed the court that blood samples collected from the crime scene and the deceased would undergo DNA analysis at the Government Chemist.

The suspects are scheduled to return to court on January 25.

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