Puzzle of prime murder suspect walking free after arraignment


​Karen OCS Purity Kobia arrested for selling impounded vehicle.

Photo credit: File| Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Micah Kiprotich, a student at Kabarak University, was arrested on January 12, 2023.
  • The suspect and appeared in court on January 13, 2023, but did not take a plea.

The prime suspect in the murder of Nakuru woman Angeline Mary Wangui is walking a free man, more than one year, after he was arrested and arraigned in court.

Shockingly, the suspect Micah Kiprotich, a student at Kabarak University, is out on a personal police bond, several months after he appeared in court, but did not answer to the murder charges.

Kiprotich was arrested on January 12, 2023, and appeared in court on January 13, 2023, but did not take a plea.

Instead, detectives requested for 14 days to conclude investigations. However, on January 27, 2023, they again presented the suspect in court, but still sought for another 14 days to conduct further investigations.

During the period, detectives said that they would extract data from the suspect’s phone. He will also be taken to Nakuru Level Five Hospital for a mental examination before he appears in court.

In yet another appearance in court, the suspect was presented in court on February 13, 2023, and detectives asked for a further seven days to conduct investigations.

It is these delays and the adjournments of taking plea that have raised eyebrows over how detectives are investigating the murder case.

Currently, Kiprotich is a free man, raising questions over when and how he secured his release, without being granted a cash bail or bond.

Kiprotich,26, is linked to the brutal murder of Angeline Mary Wangui, whose body was found on December 12, 2022, after a night party. Kiprotich was smoked out of his hideout on January 12, 2023.

Wangui went to a friend's party only for her body to be found dumped in a sack at the Ngata area along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

However, Kiprotich has never been charged in court.

Mr Kiprotich appeared for the first time in court on January 13, but police were allowed to detain him for two weeks to conclude investigations. He was held at the Menengai Police Station.

In his application before the court, a detective from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said that the suspect disappeared after committing the offence until he was arrested on January 11 along Kitale-Eldoret road, where he was hiding.

According to the investigating officer, police also wanted more time to extract some samples from the suspect which would be taken to the government chemist for analysis.

Mr Jared Omusungu further told the court that the suspect's phone would be taken to the cybercrime unit for extraction of crucial data which would help in the investigations adding that they were yet to record statements from witnesses.

The magistrate noted that due to the nature and the complexity of investigations as presented by the investigating officer, the matter necessitated her to grant the request by the police.

The court ordered that the case will be mentioned on January 27, 2023 to confirm if the officers have completed their investigations before he answers to murder charges.

On January 27, Mr Omusungu told the court that they were yet to get the DNA results from the government chemist saying that the chemicals were to be imported from the US and were supposed to be received in two weeks.

He said that the suspect was yet to be taken for a physiatrist examination and the sought Safaricom data and M-Pesa statements were yet to be availed.

He further told the court that three crucial witnesses were yet to record statements as he had not been able to trace them to record their statements.

Through his lawyer, the suspect opposed the continuous detention of the suspect without being charged as the court has given investigative time to conclude their investigation.

He told the court that they cannot wait for chemicals to come from the US and that the M-Pesa statement can be availed to police without a delay.

He said the first 14 days granted to the prosecution was enough for the investigating officer to record statements from the witnesses.

According to Rongai sub-county Directorate of Criminal Investigation Donnata Otieno, she forwarded the file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) for further directions.

She however said that they have never received any update from ODPP to charge the suspect with the murder or dismiss the case. 

Ms Otieno said that the suspect was released on police bail and was ordered to report to the DCI Rongai office every month, but for the past months, he has not been seen.

At the time of her death, Wangui was to join the Kenya Medical Training Institute (KMTC) but her dreams were shattered.