Milimani High Court judge, Justice Jessie Lessit has sentenced Seargent Fredrick Leliman, the primary suspect in the Willie Kimani murder case to death.
His other accomplices in the murder case that has been ongoing for more than seven years have been subjected to long imprisonment terms. They are Stephen Cheburet, Sylvia Wanjiku and the sly police informer Peter Ngugi.
The 4 plotted and killed Lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwendwa and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri in 2016, and dumped their bodies in a river at Ol Donyo Sabuk in 2016.
According to Justice Jessie Lessit, the case made a breakthrough after Peter Ngugi’s confession in 2022. For that, he would serve less time than his comrades going to prison.
“It was his confession that shaped the investigation. He did not color anything white that was black,” she ruled.
“First accused (Fredrick Leliman) is sentenced to death in each of the three counts, the second accused (Stephen Cheburet) is sentenced to 30 years imprisonment in each of the three terms with the prison terms running concurrently,” she stated.
“The third accused (Sylvia Wanjiku) is sentenced to 24 years imprisonment in each of the three counts with the prison terms running concurrently and the fourth accused (Peter Ngugi) is sentenced to twenty years imprisonment,” Justice Lessit added.
The court also noted that Sylvia Wanjiku was the youngest in the group and a junior at the time the crime was being committed. The judge, however, ruled that her role in the murder was irrefutably big and justice had to be served.
Justice Jessie Lessit gave the four a two-week window to appeal the court ruling she served, following years of court hearings.
“They have the right to appeal against both the conviction and the sentence within 14 days from today’s verdict,” she said.
During the hearing, Josephat Mwendwa’s widow fainted after being overwhelmed and consumed by grief. She followed the proceedings with her head bent facing the floor.
Suddenly she fell off her seat. Court attendees rushed to help her get on her feet. They lifted her and took her out of the room, where she received first-aid medication.