Murder of two children earns man death sentence

A court in Eldoret has sentenced a man to death for killing two children. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The court heard that Mr Keino, 41, committed the act after falling-out with their mother Monica Mutai.
  • Judge Hellen Omondi argued that statements by both witnesses and the prosecution found him culpable.

The high court in Eldoret on Friday sentenced to death a man who was found guilty of killing two children in 2008.

Mr Cleophas Kipketer Keino, who has been in remand for 11 years, was accused of hacking to death two brothers (Abel Kipkorir and Emmanuel Kibet) aged three and seven on April 28 in Kibwareng village, Nandi county.

The court heard that Mr Keino, 41, committed the act after falling-out with their mother Monica Mutai, whom he claimed was his lover.

But Ms Mutai denied, saying they were merely neighbours.


Mr Keino claimed that on the fateful day, Ms Mutai had invited him to her house where a quarrel later ensued.

He recalled that during the fight, Ms Mutai hurled a panga injuring him and her son Kipkorir. But he managed to flee as Ms Mutai yelled that he had killed her children.

However, High Court Judge Hellen Omondi disagreed, arguing that statements by both witnesses and the prosecution deemed him culpable.

"The manner in which the murder was executed was brutal and unwarranted. I have no regret in pronouncing death sentence to the accused. Differences between the mother of the deceased and the accused were not supposed to be taken out on these innocent souls," Justice Omondi said.


Justice Omondi did not agree with the accused's claims that Kipkorir was "dropped inside the house by his mother" before it was set on fire since he did not include it in his police statement.

Hence, she treated the evidence as an afterthought. "The evidence on record proves the charge against the accused. I find the accused guilty as charged."

Also important, the court said, is the lack of evidence proving that the two were a couple.

Trying to make sense of Mr Keino's actions, the judge was told that Ms Mutai had injured the wife of the accused during a fight that was resolved by village elders. Nevertheless, Mr Keino still harboured a grudge.


Ms Mutai had this to say: "It was around 2pm on April 28, 2008 when the accused emerged from a maize plantation armed with a panga, which was here in court.

"He used the panga to cut Emmanuel. Due to fear and shock I dropped Abel and fled with a friend who had come to visit me on the fateful day." Mr Keino has 14 days to appeal.


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