Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kenyan killed in US flown home

Rev Dr Willie Kiilu (left), Bosman Khakali (centre) and Kennedy Omondi (right), the brother to George Onyango who was killed in th US last month wait to receive his body at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on September 23rd, 2009. Photo/STEPHEN MUDIARI

Rev Dr Willie Kiilu (left), Bosman Khakali (centre) and Kennedy Omondi (right) the brother of George Onyango, who was killed in th US last month wait to receive his body at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on September 23rd, 2009. Photo/STEPHEN MUDIARI  

By DAVE OPIYO

The body of a Kenyan who died from injuries suffered in an attack by two teenagers under his care in the US has been brought home.

Distraught friends and a relative turned up at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to receive the casket bearing the remains of George Onyango, 43, who died from head injuries during the attack at a juvenile home in California.

Led by his brother, Mr Kennedy Omondi, the mourners expressed shock and disbelief at the sudden and tragic death of their kin on August 22.

“We are indeed very sad. We feel really shaken… it is something we were really not prepared for but it has happened. We have to move on,” said Mr Omondi, who was accompanied by Rev Dr Willie Kiilu and Mr Bosma Khakali from the US.

The body of the late Onyango was to be airlifted to Kisumu Thursday evening before being ferried to his rural home in Asembo, Rarieda District a day later on Saturday for burial.

Police reports indicate that Mr Onyango, a father of two, was an overnight counsellor at Yucaipa, a home for delinquent youths in California.

He was attacked by two youths under his care with an iron bar and a wooden rod after he denied them permission to leave the facility.

The two youths tied him up and left him paralysed and suffering brain damage.

He was later rushed to the Loma Linda University Medical Centre, where he succumbed to his injuries.

After the attack, the assailants, who now face murder charges, fled in Onyango’s car. Police officers chased them up to Fontana, where they crashed and were captured.

Mr Onyango won a US green card, leading to his move to America in 2006. But a few months after the family settled in Yucaipa, his wife, Beatrice, fell ill and died, leaving him a widower and a single father of two boys, now aged 11 and 13 years.

After the death of his wife, Mr Onyango turned his energies to caring for his sons and working part-time as a counsellor at night in a home for troubled youths. During the day, he took courses for the California State Bar examination.

“This has left the family devastated. Nobody expected this to happen so soon after he lost his wife. We are yet to come to terms with the terrible news,” Mr Omondi told the Daily Nation.

The two youths charged with the killing - Carlos Dubose, 17, of Oakland, and Davion Whitmore, 16, of Long Beach.

Rev Kiilu said investigations over the savage beatings had already started and that the two delinquents had already been charged with murder in the Superior Court of San Bernardino.

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