DPP drops murder charge against dead Nyeri businessman

The late Stephen Wang'ondu in the dock on February 26, 2021.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on Tuesday withdrew charges against Stephen Wang'ondu, the deceased Nyeri businessman accused of orchestrating the murder of his son in Mweiga on January 1.

Prosecutor Duncan Ondimu told Justice Florence Muchemi he had received an official notification from Nyeri's Outspan Hospital confirming the death of the suspect.

Mr Wang’ondu, 75, had been facing the murder charge alongside his driver James Mwangi, Eddy Ngari, Raphael Wachira and Geoffrey Warutumo for killing Daniel Mwangi.

Justice Muchemi released the deceased’s surety as requested by his lawyer Mahugu Mbarire.

Ms Muchemi also ordered the release of a Toyota Prado KBA 583B owned by the late Mr Wang'ondu, which was being held by the State as an exhibit in the case.

She asked that the vehicle be released to Mr David Mworia, one of Mr Wang'ondu's sons, on condition that he would not dispose of it until the case is heard and determined.

The order came after the deceased's lawyer Mr Mbarire sought its release.

During the court session, Mr Ondimu, however, said he would proceed with the case against the remaining suspects.

Daniel Mwangi Wang’ondu.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

According to him, the fifth accused Mr Warutumo had already agreed to a plea-bargain agreement.

He will now be a state witness and will testify against the other suspects.

According to the prosecution, the involvement in planning and execution of the murder charge by Mr Warutumo came when he was asked to look for two persons who were to undertake an assignment.

The instructions had been given to him by Mr Mahinda, the late Mr Wang’ondu’s driver.

The prosecution told the court that it had also presented the remaining suspects with plea-bargaining proposals, which would ensure that they face lesser charges compared to that of murder.

However, the court heard that the rest of the suspects were still undecided on the proposal.

The case will be mentioned on June 5.