Ten out of 17 suspects accused of raiding Kilingili market in Vihiga County and killing six night guards were on Wednesday arraigned in Kakamega on robbery with violence charges.
The accused, Gerishom Amukhuma, Aggrey Injiri, Moses Ekengo, Joseck Sharanda, Pascal Khalaba, Robin Khubi, Michael Abukhucha, Saul Otwoma, Bonface Asiliva and Stephen Lumula denied the charges before Chief magistrate Bildad Ochieng.
Seven of them, including a Class Seven pupil, were set free after the prosecution cited lack of proof that they were involved.
The prosecution alleged that the accused violently stole John Shiloya's goods from his shop at the market as well as Sh30,000 in cash in the incident on March 3, 2019.
The attackers armed with machetes, spears and clubs then killed him.
After the attack, the court heard, they raided the neighbouring Ilungu market in Emuhaya constituency and robbed a trader, Boaz Mukanga, of assorted alcoholic drinks, three mobile phones and clothes valued at Sh51,500.
The complainant was injured in the attack that stunned villagers as the bodies of six watchmen were later found lying in pools of blood at the market on the Vihiga-Kakamega county border.
The magistrate ordered the release of the other accused on Sh500,000 bond each with sureties of the same amount.
The suspects asked the court to help them obtain their mobile phones which were confiscated by detectives during investigations.
However, prosecutor Lydia Ombega said they were sent to Nairobi for forensic examination and could be produced as exhibits.
The case will be heard on June 11.