It’s 40 years in jail for Kisumu man who killed his brother's lover

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: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • After murdering Ms Akinyi, the convict turned against his brother.
  • The 30-year-old Ayomo is already serving a separate 20-year jail term.

A man has been jailed for 40 years by a Kisumu court for the murder of a university student who was his elder brother’s lover.

Joseph Ayomo was found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Beverly Akinyi, who at the time of her death on the night of July 24, 2018, was a student at Kenyatta University.

After murdering Ms Akinyi, the convict turned against his brother, Evans Aloyo Otieno, whom he stabbed 21 times and slit his throat. Miraculously, Mr Otieno survived.

The 30-year-old Ayomo is already serving a separate 20-year jail term after Winam Court in Kisumu found him guilty of the attempted murder of Mr Otieno. 

On Tuesday, while delivering the judgment, Kisumu High Court judge Roselyn Aburili described Ayomo as a 'marauding lion in the name of a brother.’

“In the same house lay the body of Beverly with stab wounds that had oozed life out of her. She was no more and never lived to tell her story. The accused was therefore convicted with malice aforethought,” said Justice Aburili.

According to the judge, Mr Ayomo had not shown any remorse for the crimes he committed.

“The convict knows no remorse and doesn’t show it at all before this court, nor has he shown sympathy to the deceased’s family. He is therefore sentenced to 40 years in prison,” said Justice Aburili.

The judge also stated that the sentence would start from the day the convict was arrested, considering that he has been in custody since then until his conviction.

Since he had been found guilty of attempted murder, Mr Ayomo was no longer a first offender, having acknowledged that he was convicted by the law.

Justice Aburili also stated that the court was alive to the fact that the convict is a young man and was about 23 years old when he committed the crime.

Mr Ayomo had pleaded for consolidation of the two sentences (20 and 40 years) but this was thrown out by the court because the other judgment was made in a different court and a different case.

The judge also ruled out the plea by the convict for a non-custodial sentence to help his ailing mother saying, that other siblings are older than Mr Ayomo and capable of doing so.

At the time he committed the crime, Mr Ayomo was a student at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology in Bondo.

He had however dropped out of school for lack of school fees since his mother, Mary Otieno, had been diagnosed with cancer.

Mr Ayomo was born in a middle-income polygamous family that had lived harmoniously until the incident which has caused animosity between his family and that of his stepbrother.

While Mr Ayomo's family indicated that it would file an appeal, the mother of the deceased, Ms Caren Anyona, termed the judgment as a partial relief to the pain of losing her only child.

Ms Anyona broke down immediately the judge delivered the judgment.

“Today I'm relieved because justice, though delayed, has been served. However, I still have many unanswered questions. I keep asking myself why my innocent daughter was brutally killed,” said Ms Anyona, adding that she hoped for a harsher sentence for the convict.

On the other hand, Mr Ayomo’s mother, Mary Otieno, said her son had been targeted for a crime he did not commit.

“My son is innocent and was not at the crime scene that night. Nothing places him on the scene. We are going to appeal this decision,” said Ms Otieno.

She also claimed that the incident and the whole court process leading to the conviction of her son was fuelled by a long-standing family feud.

The horrific incident occurred in 2018 when Mr Otieno, a businessman in Kisumu who was 33 years old by then, was living with his younger stepbrother Ayomo.

On the fateful day, Aloyo recalled how he bid goodbye to his brother and his girlfriend Beverly who was visiting from Nairobi, before he left. At the time, Beverly was a first-year student at Kenyatta University.

At some point in the day, Aloyo telephoned Beverly to check on her but she was unreachable.

He was however not alarmed because it was not unusual for Beverly's phone to be switched off.

Around 7pm, Mr Otieno closed his shop, located within Kisumu's central business district, and drove home via the supermarket where he picked up some groceries.

When he arrived home a few minutes to 8pm, he was welcomed by his brother Ayomo.

Then a few moments later, Ayomo attacked him with a blunt object before he proceeded to stab him with a kitchen knife 21 times.

It later emerged that Ayomo had earlier on killed Beverly and hid her body in the bedroom.