21 March 2018

Kenya: Woman Convicted of Killing Husband Escapes From Kisumu Court

A woman has mysteriously disappeared from court chambers in Kisumu moments after she was convicted of murdering her husband.

Martha Auma Nyagol was found guilty of murdering her husband, Mr Jared Ochieng Otieno, on the night of May 26 and 27, 2014 at Kanyakwar Village in Kisumu East District.

High Court Judge David Majanja found her guilty of strangling her husband to death.

Ms Nyagol had come to court Wednesday morning when judgement on her case was to be delivered.

After delivering his judgement, Justice Majanja cancelled her bond and ordered that she be held in custody as she awaits her sentencing in April 11.

WALKED AWAY

But after a brief talk with the prison warden who was in court at that time, the woman walked away.

The judge who was now handling another case raised concern when he noticed that his orders were not being followed.

"I thought I had convicted the woman and ordered that she be in custody, where has she gone to?" asked the judge before he sent a court clerk to confirm what was happening and to check whether the woman was outside the courtroom.

Justice Majanja was forced to adjourn the court after what he termed a security breach.

After word went round that the woman had disappeared, police officers started running up and down trying to establish her whereabouts.

While delivering the judgement, Justice Majanja had found that according to witnesses, Mr Ochieng had been having matrimonial problems with Ms Nyagol which would have led her to murder her husband.

ALONE IN HOUSE

"On my evaluation of the evidence, I find and hold that the accused was alone in the house on the material night when on her own admission, she strangled the deceased," said Justice Majanja.

He added: "The act of strangling a person is cold, calculated and deliberate. It is intended to cause death and accordingly constitutes malice aforethought."

The court rejected Ms Nyagol's defence that she was under compulsion when she strangled her husband with the judge stating that she may have indeed had the assistance of three assailants she referred to.

BATHROOM

The woman had claimed that as she went to the bathroom to bathe, she saw three masked men entering the house. One of the men, who held a gun, went to where she was and ordered her to keep quiet.

He later took their phones, switched them off while the other two men dragged her husband out of the bathroom whilst he was naked and brought him to the corridor.

Ms Nyagol had claimed that the men placed a white belt around her husband's neck and ordered her at gunpoint to pull the belt until he was dead.

Speaking to the Daily Nation, Deputy Registrar Pauline Mbulika said she had reported the woman's disappearance to the police who have launched investigations and manhunt for her.

"This is the first incident of this nature to happen in our courts in Kisumu. The suspect is being sought," said Mrs Mbulika.

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