A butcher who stabbed his colleague to death at a bar following a brawl over a female reveller has been charged with manslaughter.
Justice Teresiah Matheka found that according to evidence produced in court by the State, Mr Moses Kanyi Muchiri was not guilty of murder.
Mr Muchiri killed Mr Wachira Njoroge alias Kigumo on December 25, 2014 at Ndunyu market in Mahiga location, Nyeri County, by stabbing him with a knife on the chest.
The two men, whom the court noted were close friends, were drinking beer before they differed.
In her ruling, Justice Matheka said that the State must prove the accused had an intention to kill.
She noted both the accused and the deceased were under influence of alcohol on the Christmas Day when the confrontation arose around midnight.
The court heard that the convict had attempted to escape from the bar after committing the offence but was apprehended by other revellers and handed over to the police.
In her testimony, Ms Muthoni, a bar attendant, said that she found Mr Njoroge lying on the floor with a knife stuck in his chest.
Justice Matheka noted that the State did not present the female reveller, who was at the centre of the love triangle in court to testify.
A post-mortem report indicated that Mr Njoroge succumbed to the fatal stab wound which caused his lungs to collapse.
In his defence, the convict denied killing his friend on the fateful day. He said the deceased was beaten by a customer following differences over bills.
"He fell down. He had a knife on his hand while serving beef. I later heard he had been stabbed and killed. I could not kill a friend," Mr Muchiri told the court.
Justice Matheka said that even though the source of the knife was not known, the stabbing of Mr Njoroge by the convict was, however, proved.
The convict, who said that he was remorseful, asked for a non-custodial sentence. The court directed the government's probation department to file a pre-sentence report before June 3, 2019 when Mr Muchiri will be sentenced.