Court detains murder suspect Naftali Kinuthia for two weeks

Monday April 15 2019

BARNABAS BII
By BARNABAS BII
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TITUS OMINDE
By TITUS OMINDE
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The suspect accused of killing Moi University medical student Ivy Wangechi will spend two more weeks in police custody pending further investigations and mental assessment to determine his fitness to stand trial.

When he appeared before the Eldoret High Court on Monday, Mr Naftali Kinuthia’s lawyers and the prosecutor were in agreement that they required more time to gather more evidence and defence into the grusesome killing of Ivy last week.

Mr Kinuthia, who is represented by Nairobi-based lawyer Mbiyu Kamau assisted by Ms Rachael Mbebe, appeared before acting deputy registrar of Eldoret High Court Senior Resident Magistrate Nichodemus Moseti.

The state in the suit is represented by Ms Freda Mwanza, a senior assistant director of public prosecution and Ms Brenda Oduor, a senior prosecution counsel.

Mr Kinuthia, who was whisked into the court cells under tight security at 9.15am, had head and hand injuries, while his face had multiple scars that he sustained after he was beaten up by the members of the public who cornered him as fled the murder scene.

He hacked the sixth year medical student outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) as she left the facility after checking on her patients on Tuesday morning.

'SUSPECT COMPOSED'

When he appeared before Mr Moseti, Mr Kinuthia looked composed and he constantly consulted with his lawyer in the parked courtroom.

Mr Kamau told the court the suspect has not recorded any statement since he was discharged from the hospital last Friday after undergoing surgery.

Mr Kinuthia’s lawyer also noted that P3 forms have not yet ben been filled while exhibits, including an axe and knife, have been taken to the Government Chemist for forensic analysis.

“Your honour since my client was discharged from the hospital on April 12,  is yet to record statement. We are not opposed to state request to detain him for further 14 days,” said Mr Kamau.

He said that his client is to undergo a medical assessment to ascertain whether he has the capacity to stand trial.

“My client currently suffers from chest pains and severe headache and requires urgent hospital treatment during his stay in custody.”

The lawyer asked the court to allow the suspect receive medical attention while in custody at Naiberi Police Station.

MEDICAL REVIEW

Mr Moseti directed that Mr Kinuthia be taken to MTRH on April 18 and 23, for medical review and for the case to be mentioned on April 30.

Earlier, court proceedings were temporarily interrupted as a members of the public thronged the Eldoret High Court to get a glimpse of the suspect after the heinous killing went viral.

There was tight security around the court when the suspect was arraigned as locals scrambled to take photographs of the suspect, forcing him to cover his face with his jacket hoodie.

Dressed in blue jeans, black jacket and wearing sandals, Mr Kinuthia was brought in court cells at 9.30am.

His relatives, led by his father George Kinuthia, were in the court he was brought in sandwiched between two armed police officers.

Mr Kinuthia who was calm and composed was whisked back to court cells after miscellaneous application by the state.

The late Ivy is to be buried on Thursday at her parent’s home in Mahiga, Nyeri County.