A fishmonger from Ntabuta village in Tharaka Nithi County has been jailed for 10 years for killing a man over Sh30 fish.
Chuka High Court on Thursday found Nicholas Mwiti guilty of stabbing to death Geoffrey Muriungi on September 30, 2022 following a scuffle over roasted fish.
Justice Lucy Gitari heard that on September 30, 2022 at around 6 pm, while on a drinking spree, the deceased approached Mwiti and asked for a fish but the latter insisted on payment before giving him.
The court heard that after a short exchange of bitter words, the deceased violently grabbed one fish resulting in a fight and Mwiti stabbed Muriungi twice killing him on the spot.
After realising that Muriungi had died, the rest of the revelers ran leaving the lifeless body lying in a pool of blood but the village elder called Matakiri Chief Emanuel Kibunjia who informed the police.
The police took the body to Marimanti Level Four Hospital before launching a manhunt for Mwiti whom they arrested the following morning at around 5 am.
While at the chief's office before he was taken to Marimanti Police Station, Mwiti publicly confessed to committing the crime and vowed to plead guilty once arraigned in court.
He said when the conflict ensued, some people volunteered to help the deceased pay for the fish but he declined.
He added that the deceased was also accused of eating fish belonging to another elderly fishmonger the same week and declining to pay.
Once confirmed that Mwiti was fit to stand manslaughter charges, he was arraigned and pleaded guilty.
During the judgment, Mwiti begged the court for leniency claiming that the deceased provoked him beyond his emotional control.
He said he is a father and a husband and that he was the family’s sole breadwinner.
Noting that Mwiti had been remorseful for the crime he pleaded, Justice Gitari sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment and that he had 14 days to appeal the judgment if not contented.
“The court finds you guilty of manslaughter and hereby sentences you to 10 years’ imprisonment,” read Justice Gitari.
The 10-year jail term starts in October when he was arrested and put into police custody.
Speaking after the judgment, the deceased family said it was not contented with the jail term which it termed as too lenient.
Ms Margaret Kaindu, the deceased mother said his son left a young family and will be seeking compensation.
“My son left very young children and they are now suffering. Ten years are very few considering the loss that he caused my family,” said Ms Kaindu.
Cases of murder are on the rise in the region in the recent times with the recent one being that of Julius Mwithi who was beheaded on Monday last week over an alleged ancestral land ownership conflict.
The father who was killed while looking for money for transport to Starehe Boys’ Centre to pick up admission was reportedly hacked by relatives who are still at large.
Leaders have called on the residents to embrace peaceful coexistence and administrators and the police urged them to fight illicit brew and drug abuse which mainly contribute to crime.