How Kisumu man feigned death twice to survive brother's vicious attack

 Evans Aloyo Otieno

Mr Evans Aloyo Otieno during an interview with the Nation on April 2, 2024.

Photo credit: Rushdie Oudia | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Mr Ayomo was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Winam Court Senior Principal Magistrate Robert Oanda summarised Mr Otieno's survival as 'a miracle'.

As he lay helpless on the cold tiled floor of his two-bedroom apartment in Migosi Estate, Kisumu, holding on to his slit throat and bleeding from all the 21 stab wounds on his body, Evans Aloyo Otieno knew it was only a matter of seconds before he would pass out.

But in those desperate moments, he told himself that he would die, but not before his step-brother, Joseph Ayomo, who was attacking him, explained the reason for the vicious attack.

"Why are you killing me?" he asked Ayomo repeatedly to which he responded, "You will never know, but you must die".

Satisfied that he had killed his brother, Ayomo got up and lit a roll of bhang which he smoked as he paced up and down. Mr Otieno, who was feigning death at the time, watched in horror as drops of blood dripped from his forehead.

In his judgment, Winam Court Senior Principal Magistrate Robert Oanda summarised Mr Otieno's survival as 'a miracle'.

A similar sentiment was expressed by medics at Avenue Hospital who attended to Otieno after his neighbours rushed him to the facility.

"Even the surgeon who conducted the procedure could not believe that I pulled through," said Mr Otieno.

The horrific incident occurred in 2018. Mr Otieno, who was 33 years old by then, was living with his 23-year-old stepbrother Ayomo.

"When I relocated to Kisumu from Nairobi, I asked my brother to come stay with me. He was living with his sisters in the same neighbourhood and didn't have a source of income since he was still in the university," Mr Otieno explained.

The two would live together peacefully for close to a month.

“We always had meals together whenever I was around. We would talk occasionally because I used to travel a lot due to the nature of my business. I had given him an extra key to the house,” said Mr Otieno.

On the fateful day,  he said goodbye to his brother and his girlfriend (Otieno's) Beverly Akinyi, who was visiting from Nairobi, before driving off in his Toyota Noah minivan. Beverly, 21, was a first-year student at Kenyatta University.

"At some point during the day, I called Beverly to check on her but she was not available. I was not worried because it was not unusual for her phone to be switched off," said Mr Otieno.

He closed his shop, located in Kisumu's central business district, at around 7pm and drove home after buying a few groceries from the supermarket. He arrived home a few minutes before 8pm. His brother Ayomo opened the door to him.

According to the ruling by the Winam Court Resident Magistrate, after the two brothers exchanged pleasantries, Ayomo retreated to the living room where he was watching a movie on the television when Mr Otieno walked towards the kitchen carrying a bunch of onions he had bought.

Joseph Ayomo

Joseph Ayomo when he appeared before a Kisumu Court on April 3, 2024. He was found guilty of killing a 20-year-old university student Beverly Akinyi in 2018. 

Photo credit: Rushdie Oudia | Nation Media Group

But before he could take a second step, he was struck hard on the back of the head, sending him sprawling to the floor, unconscious.

Mr Otieno was later awoken from his unconsciousness by a sharp stabbing pain on the upper right side of his back. When he regained consciousness, he realised that his step-brother was stabbing him repeatedly with a kitchen knife.

 "I struggled with him and he stabbed me in the hand, elbow and inner arm before thrusting the knife under my armpit and twisting it left and right," he explained.

The attack only stopped when the knife broke into two pieces.

But during the struggle, Mr Otieno could not stop wondering where his girlfriend Beverly was. Little did he know that her body lay just a few metres from where he was wrestling with his brother.

He recalled touching the body with his foot. This made him realise Ayomo was serious about killing him.

Mr Otieno said he later saw his brother pick up Beverly's lifeless body from the bedroom floor and carry it out of the house. While Ayomo was away, he gathered his strength and climbed onto the bed.  "I felt uncomfortable dying on the cold floor," he said.

But when Ayomo returned and found him on the bed, he took a blunt object and hit him again until he fell to the floor.

"I quickly rolled under the bed to make it difficult for him to hit me," he explained.

This did not last long, however, as his attacker grabbed his legs and dragged him out.

 "He put his fingers in my mouth and tried to choke me. He also tried to gouge out my eyes, but he didn't succeed," said Mr Otieno.

For the second time during the two-hour ordeal, he feigned death. Once again, Ayomo checked his brother's pulse and seemed convinced that he was dead.

According to Mr Otieno, his killer brother ransacked his pockets, and took his car keys and mobile phone before removing his blood-stained clothes. Wrapped in bed sheets, Ayomo later carried Mr Otieno downstairs to the car where Beverly's body was already lying on the back seat.

But luck would smile on Mr Otieno when his brother returned upstairs to clean up the mess in the house.

"I knew this was my last chance to save my life. I gathered all the strength I had left, opened the car door and rolled out. I crawled until I reached a neighbour's door and banged on it with all my strength. I went to the next house and banged on the bedroom window until the glass broke. The neighbours raised the alarm," he said.

In the ensuing commotion, his attacker slipped out and fled on foot. Mr Otieno later learnt that he went to his sisters' house, just a few blocks away. He told his sisters that he had been attacked by thugs.

A quick response by doctors at Avenue Hospital meant that Mr Otieno survived an attack that, six years later, still gives him chills when he recounts it.

For the magistrate, Mr Otieno’s survival was a miracle.

 “I agree with the complainant that his survival was by the hand of God and indeed it is a miracle. Having heard all the witnesses, considering the entire evidence on record, I find that the accused herein actively participated in an attempt to kill the complainant, his own stepbrother. His line of defence and the evidence of his sisters is all an after-thought expressed as a cover-up to the heinous acts of the accused person herein,” said Magistrate Oanda.

Ayomo was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In mitigation, the accused was remorseful and pleaded with the court to give him a non-custodial sentence since his mother had been diagnosed with cancer and that he contributed to her well-being. The court declined.

He will face another sentence on April 16, 2024, after the courts found him guilty of murdering Beverly Akinyi.

But even as he awaits Justice, Mr Otieno is still struggling to understand why his stepbrother was so determined to kill him after murdering his girlfriend.