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Warunge declared unfit to stand trial, co-suspect set free

By Oliver Musembi
Tuesday, January 26th, 2021
Lawrence Warunge (right) is led out of the Kiambu law courts after appearing for the mention of his case along with his girlfriend Sarah Wanjiku
In summary

A mental assessment has shown that Lawrence Simon Warunge is unfit to stand trial in the murder of four of his family members and their employee in Kiambu.

Warunge, the first born in the family and a university student, was a key suspect alongside his girlfriend Sarah Muthoni Njuguna, in the grisly murder of five people at Karura village, Kiambu County about three weeks ago.

The report presented to Kiambu Chief Magistrate Patricia Gichohi indicated that Warunge was not mentally stable to be committed to face murder charges at the moment.

At the same time, the state withdrew the case against his girlfriend Ms Njuguna who will now be a prosecution witness.

The murder victims included Nicholas Njoroge Warunge, his wife Ann Wanjiku Njenga, son Christian Njenga Njoroge, nephew Maxwell Njenga as well as family employee James Kinyanjui Wambaa.

An affidavit read in court on January 11, detective Peter Kamau indicated how the two were arrested on January 8 and were being investigated for murder.

The report read that on the morning of January 6, a brother-in-law to the late Njoroge discovered his lifeless body lying inside the closed gate after peeping through an opening.

After failing to get any response and with the help of villagers, they broke the gate and found bodies of the others lying inside the house in pools of blood.

On January 8, Warunge who had gone missing soon after the brutal murders was arrested by detectives in Lower Kabete and later led police to Biafra Estate in Thika where his girlfriend was also arrested.

Upon interrogation, Warunge reportedly narrated to police how he had orchestrated the murders and later, on January 10, led detectives to Jikaze Estate in Mai Mahiu where some items including th murder weapons were found buried in a pit latrine.

The matter will be mentioned on March when the court will hear the progress of Warunge's mental health and make a determination whether he will be committed to the High Court for murder trial.