Confessed Mogotio ‘serial killer’ mentally unfit to stand trial, court told

Moses Kipchirchir

Suspected serial killer Moses Kipchirchir hides his face at Mogotio police station on December 27, 2021.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A man in Mogotio, Baringo County, who claimed to have killed six people may not face murder charges after he was declared mentally unfit.

Moses Kipchirchir, 34, was arrested on November 13 and detained in Mogotio, after police linked him to the abduction and killing of businesswoman Veronica Kanini, who went missing on November 12.

While in custody, he confessed to killing the woman and burying her body in a shallow grave on the banks of the Molo River. The body was retrieved on November 24.

The suspect, who was arraigned on Thursday in the Kabarnet High Court before Justice Weldon Korir, was expected to plea to murder charges.

But prosecutors said a mental assessment report from a psychiatrist at Nakuru Provincial General Hospital that was provided in court indicated he was not fit to do so.

State Counsel Judy Kitilit asked the court to have the matter mentioned in a month’s time after a fresh assessment.

“We have filed the mental assessment report and according to the psychiatrist, the accused person is not fit to take a plea and he is required to have treatment,” she said.

“We pray that he gets treatment while in custody and we have the matter mentioned after a month.”

In the report, the suspect says he was arrested as a murder suspect in the killings of several people, which he admits committing because he says he is a devil worshipper.

He says he was inducted into the practice by a woman who, he says, appears before him and instructs him to kill, saying he had killed more than 24 people.

He has no history of treatment for mental illness or a chronic medical condition, no known food or drug allergies and no history of being admitted to hospital.

The last-born in a family of three, the psychiatrist’s report says he dropped out of Standard Three, when his parents died. He worked as a herder, at an irrigation scheme and as mason. He denied abusing substances.

Suspect had bizarre delusions

He says in the report that he was arrested last year for assaulting his first wife, whom he later allegedly murdered along with his one-and-half-year-old child. He was released from prison on a presidential pardon after four months.

The psychiatrist says the suspect had bizarre delusions that he was a devil worshipper, and auditory and visual hallucinations about a woman who sees and instructs him to kill people.

“He is exhibiting symptoms of mental illness and my impression is schizophrenia with differential diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder,” the psychiatrist says.

“His mental status is not stable and he requires admission for further observation and possible treatment. He is therefore not fit to plead.”

In such a situation, Justice Korir said, Section 162 of the criminal procedures code should kick in.

“The accused, according to the doctor’s report, is suffering from a mental illness. I will for now refer the accused for treatment at Nakuru Level Five Hospital and be held at the Nakuru GK prison. The prosecution will file a report on the progress of his treatment,” he said.

The matter will be mentioned on February 21.


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