Joseph Otieno Ochieng, the main suspect in the murder of Murang’a prison warder Pauline Wangari Ngoi, has been charged with attempted suicide at his parents’ home in Nairobi.
Ochieng is said to have attempted to commit suicide when he accompanied detectives to search for the items which he allegedly stole after the murder of the warden.
The suspect on Monday denied the charges before Resident Magistrate Violet Ochanda who directed that he be taken for a mental test to determine whether he can stand trial.
She directed that the case be mentioned on May 28 for more directions.
This means that the suspect will have to battle a charge of murder and that of trying to kill himself should the mental test indicate that he is fit to stand trial.
Ochieng, who was brought to the court under tight security, was limping, perhaps due to the intensity of the wounds caused by the dagger which he is accused to have used to stab himself under the belly.
Detectives who escorted him to his parents’ home at Right House Plaza in Makadara, Nairobi in May 17 said that as they were conducting the search, the suspect attempted suicide by trying to jump from their fifth floor house and when the officers rescued him he stabbed himself under the belly.
The officer who was present when the incident happened told the Nation that the suspect, who was handcuffed, was rushed him to hospital after he stabbed himself with a kitchen knife.
“We asked him why he wanted to commit suicide and he said he feared for his life especially if he is sent to prison where he is likely to meet the slain prison warder’s workmates who might kill him and that he felt bad after his mother fainted when we escorted him to their house,” an officer told the Nation.
The detective disclosed that they have recovered all the items which were stolen from the warder’s house.
The prosecution has listed six witnesses including the two suspects who were arrested with Ochieng while on their way to Kisumu.
Ochieng will be back in court on May 30 when the police are expected to have completed investigations into the murder of the prison warder.
In the meantime, Ms Ngoi’s father, Patrick Kamau Ngoi, has told the Nation that she will be buried at their home in Njoro in Nakuru County on Tuesday.
Mr Ngoi said his slain daughter was the first-born in a family of three and that she had disclosed to her younger sister that a man was seducing her through Facebook.
“The deceased had disclosed to her younger sister that there was a man who looked a bit younger than her who was seducing her on Facebook and that she had said she would not give in since she did not know much about him,” he said.
The 46-year-old businessman added that his daughter had visited them at their Flamingo Estate residence in Nakuru a week before her death.
He said the last time she heard from her was when she called home informing them that she had reached Murang’a safely.
Mr Ngoi described his daughter as social, obedient and a staunch Catholic who was determined in her undertakings. She had a diploma in criminology.
“She was very obedient and a staunch Catholic who never missed mass. I have never heard of her involvement in drugs or alcohol and I’m only hearing this through media reports. I’m happy with the way the detectives are carrying out the investigations and I’m optimistic that justice will prevail,” he said.