Running with blood: When three brothers bludgeoned father to death - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Running with blood: When three brothers bludgeoned father to death

 

Jane Gachambi would want to forget the horror of the morning of November 3, 2010.

The mother of 16 had known for some time that her rebellious three sons were violent, but she would not have thought they would kill. And certainly not bludgeon their own father, Esbon Macharia, to death.

Yet, that fateful morning, she witnessed in shock as the three — Humphrey Waithaka, John Kamau and Duncan Gichuhi — murdered their father over a six-acre coffee plantation.

Signs of trouble had been there.

The unruly trio had been disrespectful to their father, calling him “uncircumcised”, as they demanded a share of the land.

Only a matter of time

It was only a matter of time then before tragedy struck Gichuhi’s home in Kiguru village in Kaganda Sub-Location within Murang’a County.

Six months earlier, the rowdy brothers had attacked their parents, cut their mother in the mouth and the left eye. So terrified were the couple that they fled their home for about a year.

Ms Gachambi said they had reported the assault to the police.

It would appear nothing was done and the rogue brothers were emboldened. Their parents had returned, hoping their sons were no longer vengeful. Ms Gachambi said their father had uprooted his coffee and had wanted to give them some land but they were wrong.

Murder plot

The trio had now plotted murder.

On the fateful day, Mrs Gachambi was milking cows at about 6am. Her husband was in the vicinity. Then the calm morning was shattered by a commotion. When she turned around, she saw the three sons beating up their father. They were using thick planks of wood. The first blows knocked Mr Macharia to the ground. The brothers continued with their mission.

Their mother ran away screaming and some of their neighbours responded but were afraid to enter the home.

A while later, the village elder, Stanley Njoroge, came and led the group into the homestead. It was too late. The elderly man was dead. His hands were broken, and he had suffered serious injuries on the head, face and mouth. His body was taken to Muriranjas Hospital mortuary.

Died during trial

The three brothers were charged with murder. But Gichuhi, who was the eldest, died during the trial. In court, the accused claimed their mother had framed them. Each claimed they were far away from the scene of crime on the material day. Their mother responded she had 16 children and there was no evidence that she had fixed her three sons. 

Justice Kanyi Kimondo also rejected their excuses.

“I have weighed them carefully against the clear eye-witness account of their mother who saw the two accused persons attacking the deceased. The entire defence by the two accused is hollow and unbelievable. Each of them set up an alibi that they were far away from the locus in quo. The first accused said that on the material day, he was away in Kigumo, Kangari. The second accused claimed he was in Maragua. The alibis were being set up well after the close of the prosecution’s case,” the judge said.

Lies

As a pointer to the lies, Waithaka had initially claimed that on the material day, he was away in Kigumo, Kangari. Under pressure from the prosecution, he changed his testimony saying he was picking tea in Githumu in the company of workers from Kisii and who were not available to testify.

Kamau also claimed he was away in Maragua on the day their father was attacked. He claimed his mother was misled by his brothers to blame him for the murder. However, he also did not have witnesses to support his claims.

“I have reached the conclusion that the alibis are a sham and unadorned by any persuasive evidence. The entire corpus of direct and circumstantial evidence points irresistibly and exclusively to the guilt of the accused.  The chain of events is complete,” Justice Kimondo said.

“The upshot is that the prosecution has proved the charge beyond reasonable doubt. Both accused persons, of malice aforethought caused the death of Esbon Macharia Gichuhi by an unlawful act. I accordingly enter a finding of guiltyBoth accused are hereby convicted,” the judge ruled on February 4, as he found the two guilty of murder.

The two brothers are now staring at life in prison.

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