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Court jails for 35 years Kilifi man who stabbed and killed his wife

Monday July 27 2020
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A 50-year old man from Kilifi has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after he was found guilty of killing his wife following a domestic squabble. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BRIAN OCHARO

A 50-year old man from Kilifi has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after he was found guilty of killing his wife following a domestic squabble.

Riziki Karisa Yeri stabbed his wife Kadzo Charo Chenje several times after she failed to attend to their farm.

According to their daughter Raeli Karisa, her father stabbed her mother in the chest and the stomach using a kitchen knife.

"I screamed and my other siblings came running to rescue my mother," Ms Karisa said.

According to her testimony, the accused tried to place their mother on a chair after she fell down following the stubbing. She appeared lifeless.

ATTEMPTED SUICIDE

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After the incident, Ms Karisa said her father tried to commit suicide by turning the knife on himself.

Another daughter, Ms Riziki Pili, testified that she was woken up by screams coming from their parents’ house and on arrival, she found her father assaulting her mother.

"I observed the accused assaulting the deceased by stabbing her in the stomach and legs. When he was done with inflicting physical harm on the deceased, he started cutting her body," said the witness.

She added that their mother died at home before she could be taken to hospital.

The investigating officer who handled the case said when he was informed of the matter, he sent a vehicle to pick both the man and his wife for treatment but the woman succumbed to the injuries.

"As the accused had suffered injuries, he was picked and taken to the hospital while his wife’s body was taken to the mortuary as she had died by the time the police arrived at their homestead," said the investigating officer.

DENIED CHARGE

When Yeri was arraigned, he denied murdering his wife and only stated that he heard of her passing on but did not know what had happened to her.

He surprised the court when he said he did not understand the circumstances that led to his wife’s death.

The man committed the offence on December 3, 2016 in Kilifi County.

Malindi High Court Judge Reuben Nyakundi, who heard the case, noted that evidence indicated that the accused person acted without any provocation.

The judge further said that the accused was suffering from a psychological or neuropsychological disorder which reduced his discernment or impeded his ability to control his actions.

Further, the judge noted that the act of self-inflicting injuries was meant to demonstrate that by assaulting his wife, the accused acted in self-defence.

"On evaluation of the evidence, the prosecution did discharge the burden of proof that the accused attacked the deceased by use of excessive force. There was no iota of evidence that this was done to protect himself from imminent danger to life, limb or freedom which could not otherwise be averted," said the judge.

REMAINED SILENT

Yeri's choice to remain silent when asked critical questions and to put up a strong defence, the court noted, was clearly a case of rage of a husband against his own wife. 

Also, the court noted that the accused did not show that he was adequately provoked and as a direct result he became emotionally upset that he lost control and killed his wife

Yeri's acts, the court said, was planned and based on revenge or punishment, inconsistent with the loss of self-control since he left for wine tapping then came back almost immediately and started quarrelling with his wife, an indication of malice.

"I therefore enter a verdict of guilty and conviction for the offence as charged. The aggravating circumstances in this case by far outweigh the mitigating circumstances. The accused is hereby sentenced to 35 years imprisonment with effect from December 29, 2016," the judge said.

In mitigation, Yeri only stated that he was a family man and asked for leniency.

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