The High Court in Nyeri has ordered that the second suspect linked to the murder of a woman and her two children in Nanyuki be taken to hospital for mental assessment before answering to the charges.
Justice Jairus Ngaah on Monday also directed that Mr Collins Pamba be remanded at the Kerugoya GK Prison to keep him away from the prime suspect, Mr Peter Mugure, who is being detained at King'ong'o GK Prison Nyeri.
Mr Mugure was the husband of the slain woman, Joyce Syombua, and father of the two children - Shanice Maua (10) and son Prince Michael (5) - whose bodies were found buried in a shallow grave at Nanyuki cemetery.
In an application to detain Mr Pamba at the Kerugoya prison, Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Peter Mailanyi told the court that there was need to separate the two to avoid interference.
"It is because of intelligence that Mr Mugure is likely to interfere if they are pout in the same cell. His (Mr Pamba) security is at stake," said Mr mailanyi.
Mr Pamba, who is a casual worker at the Laikipia airbase, was scheduled to appear in court to take plea but the prosecutor said he had not been assessed on his mental capacity, and thus asked the court to defer the plea taking.
The suspect had on Thursday last week been taken to Nanyuki Referral Hospital for psychiatric examination but the exercise flopped after the psychiatrist declined to sign the medical report.
"The doctor, Dr LN Gathuru, insisted on initially talking to a relative of the suspect before she could sign the report," Mr Mailanyi explained.
This, the prosecutor claimed, was aimed at assisting the accused person in one way or another, adding the doctor acted in a prejudicial way.
It was for this reason Mailanyi said that the prosecution was requesting for the deferment of plea taking so as to conclude the preparations.
While explaining why Mr Pamba could not take plea, Mr Mailanyi noted that the accused had not been allocated a State counsel as is the requirement in murder trials.
"The doctor said she could not give the report because she wanted to see a relative of the accused person to give a collaborative history," he observed.
Mr Pamba will appear in court on December 19, with Mr Mailanyi saying the two cases will later be consolidated.
On Friday last week the same court deferred Mr Mugure's plea taking to December 17, following an application by the prosecution to detain him for 12 more days.
The court granted the State 12 days to detain Mr Mugure so that he could be taken for mental examination at the Nyeri Referral Hospital.