Police in Laare town are holding a 50-year-old man in connection with the death of a Form One student.
The man is accused of clobbering the 18-year-old Miuine Secondary School student for allegedly picking miraa twigs from his mother's farm in Miuine village, Igembe North, Meru County.
Mr Dennis Murithi died Sunday evening while undergoing treatment at the Maua Methodist Hospital.
Villagers claimed that the student had his testicles crushed during the attack.
Igembe North police boss David Kirui said the victim also suffered severe injuries on the head, arms and legs.
The student’s distraught mother, Ms Margaret Kanene, said she had employed the accused in December to guard her miraa farm after the death of her husband.
Ms Kanene said that the accused knew all her children and could not have mistaken any of them for thieves.
“My son, who is on mid-term break, was fetching fodder for the goats when he was attacked. He also hurt his private parts,” she said.
On learning about the student's death, angry residents, who were baying for the guard’s blood, stormed his home and cut down several miraa trees before they were stopped by the police.
“We received information that they (villagers) had gone to attack the man, so we acted fast and rescued the suspect. He is now in police custody and will be charged with murder once investigations are completed,” said Mr Kirua.
Mr Josphat Mukaria, a resident said the murder had left the villagers in shock.
“Guards are not supposed to beat up people, they are usually instructed to take theft suspects to the nearest police station,” he said.