An assistant chief and five members of Nyumba Kumi were on Tuesday charged with the killing of a bod boda rider in Meru.
The suspects allegedly beat the rider to death to punish him for hosting a party where guests took a local brew in Mitunguu, Meru County.
Maraa Assistant Chief Cosmas M’arimi, 54, Peter Kaburia, 51, Zaverio Atugi, 62, Zaverio Mugeria, 78, Ruginu Wairura, 49, and Geoffrey Muna, 53, denied killing Samuel Marangu M’Miriti.
They denied committing the offence when they appeared before Justice Francis Gikonyo and were remanded in custody until December 23, 2019 when a bond application will be considered.
It is alleged that on November 13, 2018 they descended on Mzee M’Miriti, accusing him of preparing an illicit brew commonly known as mugacha without permission.
The prosecution, led by Vincent Maina, told the court that the six killed the man jointly.
On the fateful day at around 8.30 pm, the assistant chief, while on patrol together with his team, raided Mr M’Miriti’s home and found him with his wife and daughter as they were about to go to sleep.
They ordered him out of his house and arrested him for brewing and serving the illicit brew to his guests, which they said was against the fight against the liquor in the village.
The prosecution said the victim had organised the party to thank fellow motorcyclists who had assisted him recover his stolen motorbike in Tigania.
They frogmarched him, ostensibly to interview him, but after one hour he was found by one Bernard Mbui, a Good Samaritan, injured and unable to walk by himself.
Mr Mbui offered to support him reach home which was metres away but Mr M’Miriti started vomiting blood and fell down unconscious.
He later died.
A post-mortem examination carried out at Consolata Mission Hospital by a Dr Gitaki indicated that he died as a result of oxygen deprivation due to choking.
Defence lawyer Henry Karauka sought to have the suspects released on bond pending trial, saying they are respectable and law-abiding citizens.
The lawyer further told the court his clients had fixed abodes and were, therefore, not a flight risk.
He said the suspects have been in remand for a month to allow for psychiatric examination before they took a plea on Tuesday.
Mr Maina and the victim’s family, through lawyer Joshua Mwiti, opposed the application, saying they needed time to respond to it with compelling reasons to deny the suspects bond.
Justice Gikonyo directed Mr Maina and Mr Mwiti to file an affidavit within seven days detailing reasons to deny the suspects bond.