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KDF man fails to take plea in Syombua, children murder case

Friday December 06 2019
peter

Major Peter Mugure at the High Court in Nyeri on December 6, 2019. PHOTO | JOSEPH WANGUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOSEPH WANGUI

A Kenya Defence Force (KDF) soldier, who is accused of killing a woman and her two children, will wait for 12 more days before taking plea.

Justice Jairus Ngaah delayed the plea Friday following an application by the prosecution to have Major Peter Mugure detained at King’ong’o Maximum Prison.

MENTAL TEST

In the application, Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Peter Mailanyi told the court that Mr Mugure is yet to undergo a complete mental assessment, which is a mandatory procedure in a murder trial.

Mr Mailanyi told the court an attempt to have Mr Mugure undergo a psychiatrist examination at the Nanyuki Referral Hospital on Thursday flopped after the doctor declined to sign the medical report.

The State counsel claimed the doctor had insisted on initially talking to a relative of the accused person before she could sign the medical report.

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For this reason, Mr Mailanyi told the court that the prosecution needed a postponement of plea-taking by two weeks, so as to allow the accused be taken for a second mental test at the Nyeri Referral Hospital.

The court heard that the Nanyuki psychiatrist demanded speaking to Mr Mugure’s relative so as to obtain a collaborative family history.

Mr Mailanyi added that the State was willing and ready to supply the defence with all relevant documents that the prosecution intends to rely on during the trial.

He further said the military officer will not be tried in Nanyuki but in Nyeri after some prosecution witnesses including the family of the deceased and army officers expressed concern over their safety.

Mr Mailanyi said the last time Mr Mugure was arraigned at the Nanyuki Law Courts, the prosecution closed the doors of the courtroom to ensure the safety of the suspect.

“Members of the public jammed the court station and were baying for his blood and we had to keep them at bay. The intelligence report indicate the security of the accused cannot be guaranteed,” the he explained.

Due to the hostility, the court heard, the State had resolved for a neutral ground where both the prosecution and defence witness felt free to testify.

Mr Mugure is alleged to have killed his estranged wife Joyce Syombua, her 10-year-old daughter Shanice Maua and son Prince Michael, 5, in October. The three bodies were found stacked in a gunny bag and buried in a shallow grave in Makaburini, Nanyuki.

The three were were last seen alive on October 25, 2019 when they travelled from Nairobi to Nanyuki to visit Mr Mugure at the army barracks.

On October 27, a report of missing persons was made at Soweto police station under Occurrence Book number 25/27/10/2019 and investigations commenced.

On November 16, 2019 Mr Mugure led police to the cemetery where the bodies were found in a shallow grave. Mr Mugure will take plea on December 17.

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