Naftali Kinuthia, the prime suspect in the gruesome killing of Moi University medical student Ivy Wangechi, is seeking to enter a plea bargain, his lawyer has said.
Mr Kinuthia, through his lawyer Mbiyu Kamau, said he was in the process of applying for the plea bargain deal with the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and wanted the court to delay the hearing of witnesses in the trial.
“My client wants to enter a plea bargain with the Director of Public Prosecutions in exchange for a lesser charge,” Mr Kamau told the High Court in Eldoret on Tuesday.
The suspect has been in Eldoret GK remand prison since his arrest seven months ago.
His bail application was denied in June after High Court Judge Stephen Githinji cited the grave nature of the case he was facing.
The prosecution had lined up seven witnesses including Ivy's mother Winfred King'ori who was expected to testify on Tuesday.
But Justice Githinji directed that the trial be adjourned to March 26, 2020 to allow the defence time to file the plea bargain and go through additional evidence Mr Kamau said he had been ambushed with on Tuesday morning.
Ms King'ori, speaking to the press outside the court, said she had travelled from Nyeri to Eldoret ready to testify only to learn that the case has been adjourned.
“I had been lined up as the first person to testify in the dock but the defence team has applied for the adjournment of the case. I will obey the court’s decision. We are here to fight for justice until the end,” she said.
The suspect, who was said to have been armed with an axe and a knife, is said to have attacked and killed the medical student outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret in April.
Kinuthia, who is a former employee of a betting company in Nairobi, allegedly waylaid Wangechi as she was returning to her hostel which is opposite the MTRH as she left the wards.
Kinuthia has denied killing Wangechi.