Three men have been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing a State witness.
The prosecution witness testified against two of the convicts in a robbery with violence case 16 years ago.
Appearing before the High Court in Nyeri on Tuesday, Justice Jairus Ngaah condemned Daniel Karonji Wahome, David Gituku Kiruhi and Daniel Wachira Kiruhi to life imprisonment.
Justice Ngaah found that the three were not remorseful of their actions. He said that Wahome and Gituku were former death row inmates.
The three attacked and killed Ms Lucy Wangui Gitau on September 3, 2010. The victim was their neighbour in Gituiga village in Othaya.
During the attack, the court heard that the convicts were armed with sharp objects which they used to inflict injuries on Ms Wangui before setting her on fire.
Ms Wangui suffered multiple injuries on different parts of her body.
In his judgment, Justice Ngaah noted that the convicts were on a revenge mission since the deceased had previously testified against Wahome and Gituku in another criminal case.
In the earlier case, Wahome and Gituku were charged with robbery with violence. They were found guilty of robbing and injuring Ms Wangui and were sentenced to death.
However, after lodging a successful appeal against the sentence, they were retried and subsequently acquitted on August 5, 2010. Four weeks after their acquittal, they attacked Ms Wangui and killed her.
On the fateful night, the deceased had just had supper with her employee David Mwangi Maina in her kitchen.
As Mr Maina retired to his house, which was about ten metres from the kitchen, he heard his boss scream before he rushed to her rescue.
He found the deceased, who had been set a blaze, being attacked by three men whom he recognised.
Mr Maina said that Wahome and Gituku lived in the neighbourhood, while Kiruhi, who also lived in the same area, had been employed by the deceased.
Ms Wangui, according to Mr Maina, was seated as the convicts beat her up. As the attackers pursued him, he ran and hid in his house from where he shouted for help.
After 20 minutes, he returned to the kitchen where he found the deceased still burning. He put out the fire using water.
Ms Wangui’s son, John Macharia said that he saw the three accused persons run from his mother’s home towards the river.
Mr Macharia retreated to seek help. With the help of a neighbour, he took his mother to hospital. But in their testimonies, the accused said they were charged and prosecuted on mere suspicion.
Wahome told the court that he was at his home on the night when the deceased was attacked.
In his testimony, Gituku told the court that he was at home and learned about the incident when police officers arrested him on September 4, 2009.
Kiruhi claimed that he learned of the deceased’s death when he was charged in court.