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Prime suspect in Kiambu deaths to spend more days in custody

By Zadock Angira
Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
Lawrence Simon Warunge and Sarah Muthoni Njuguna at a Kiambu court yesterday. No charges were preferred against them as the prosecution sought 14 more days to complete investigations. Photo/PD/Clement Kamau
In summary
    • Detectives will also obtain CCTV footages from a supermarket in town, a church and around Nairobi’s Uhuru Park,  where the suspect visited before he left to butcher his family members.
    • They will also interview several other witnesses, said to be having  crucial evidence among them friends and relatives of the suspects.

All the four family members and their farmhand killed in Kiambu on January 5, died of multiple sharp force injuries believed to have been inflicted by the same weapon.

Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor and his team, yesterday conducted an autopsy and concluded that all the victims suffered stab wounds, probably from the same assailant.

Nicholas Njoroge Warunge, the main suspect’s father, also suffered bruises on the head caused by a blunt object.

The mother, Anne Wanjiku also suffered broken hands, an indication that she tried to defend herself from the attacker.

According to the autopsy, there was little resistance from the farmhand whose throat was slit.  

The main suspect Lawrence Simon Warunge and his girlfriend Sarah Muthoni Njuguna were yesterday arraigned, at the Kiambu Law Court where the detectives sought 14 more days to enable them complete investigations into the quintuple homicide.

Macabre murder

Warunge is accused of murdering their farmhand James Kinyanjui Wambaa, his father, his mother and two of his brothers, Maxwell Njenga, a Standard Seven pupil and Christian Njenga.

Chief Magistrate Patricia Gichohi granted the detectives the requested days, and also directed that the matter be mentioned on January 25, 2021.

“Whereas it has been proved to me that for purpose of investigations, it is necessary for the respondents to be remanded, I order that they be remanded at Gigiri and Muthaiga police stations respectively or any other police station within the Republic of Kenya,” she ruled.

The macabre murder bears a strong resemblance to one of the most notable familicides, The Broken Arrow killings of July 22, 2015 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

In both familicides — five people were killed with all of them stabbed to death, and two family members escaped the fatal attacks.

Warunge’s two sisters survived the cold blooded murder since they had gone to school the previous day.

One of the sisters is a Form Four student while the other is a Form Two student.

In the Oklahoma case, two brothers murdered five family members including the father, mother and three younger siblings.

Detailed account

In the former case the father David Bever 52, was stabbed 28 times while in the Kiambu murder, Njoroge Warunge 54, was stabbed 34 times.

Today, the main suspect, Warunge, is expected to accompany the detectives to his home in Wanyungu, Kiambaa in what is referred to as crime scene re-enactment.

Here, he is expected to voluntarily give a detailed account of how the murder was organised from the initial planning to the execution and subsequent disposal of murder weapons.

However, despite the confession, the detectives must act on the principle of presumption of innocence and treat the suspects as innocent until the court finds them guilty.

The duo will also be subjected to mental assessment to establish if they are fit to stand trial.

As at yesterday evening, detectives had however not found very incriminating evidence against Warunge’s girlfriend. She is however the one who bought him the killer knife.

A senior detective yesterday told the People Daily that the next phase of detailed investigations had just begun. 

“A confession, standing alone, is not enough for a conviction. A thorough investigation has just commenced,” a senior detective said.

The main suspect confessed but since uncorroborated confession cannot secure a conviction, detectives will conduct further probes and visit the scene with the suspect to corroborate what he had said earlier.

“The exhibits recovered at the scene of murder, during arrest and subsequent search are yet to be forwarded to relevant experts for forensic examination.

My team of investigators are yet to recover more exhibits and also obtain DNA samples from the suspects for comparison and analysis with other exhibits,” the investigating officerPeter Kamau said in his affidavit.

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