What you need to know:
- Mr Irungu allegedly shot himself inside the bedroom of his girlfriend, journalist Jacque Maribe.
- He later told police officers that he had been attacked by three gangsters outside their city residence.
The prime suspect in the killing of businesswoman Monica Kimani three years ago, Joseph Kuria Irungu alias Jowie, lied to police that he had been shot by thugs on the night of the murder, the High Court heard Wednesday.
Mr Irungu allegedly shot himself inside the bedroom of his girlfriend, journalist Jacque Maribe, then told officers that he had been attacked by three gangsters outside their city residence.
Testifying before Justice Grace Nzioka, chief inspector Eswari Njoki said a neighbour, Ms Catherine Piyon, claimed Mr Irungu acquired the Ceska pistol that he used to shoot himself from her husband, Mr Bryan Kassaine.
Ms Piyon said the accused violently knocked the gate of their house Number 677 at the Royal Park Estate in Lang’ata on the night of September 20, 2018. Her husband opened the gate and found Mr Irungu writhing in pain.
Ms Piyon told police that Mr Irungu said they had been attacked by a three-man gang and shot in the process. Ms Maribe, however, followed Mr Irungu outside, asking: “What did you?! Why did do this?!”
He reportedly responded in Swahili: “Unataka kuniacha, uende na mtoto wangu nitakufa mnizike Lang’ata (You want to leave and go with my child, I’ll just die. Bury me at Lang’ata.”
Licenced firearm holder
Ms Piyon told police that her husband, who is a licenced firearm holder, retrieved the gun from Mr Irungu and collected the spent cartridge.
Led by state prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki, Ms Njoki said she had earlier recorded a statement from Mr Irungu and Ms Maribe about the shooting.
They had claimed that they were attacked by three armed gangsters, who reportedly shot Mr Irungu as he was returning home after picking up Ms Maribe from her place of work.
Ms Piyon also claimed that Mr Irungu had earlier asked for a jerrycan of paraffin. They did not give it to him.
Ms Njoki told the court that police recovered the gun from Mr Kassaine, a spent cartridge, two empty magazines, 34 rounds of ammunition, 28 rounds of ammunition and three pistol holsters.
Denied the murder charges
“Police recovered the pistol from the upper room of Mr Kassaine’s house at Royal Park,” she said.
She accompanied homicide detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations during the recovery of the firearm. The officer said Mr Irungu had burnt some materials in a trench outside their residence.
Police recovered partly burnt items from the trench and took them for forensic investigations. The officer said Mr Irungu sought treatment from Lang’ata, Nairobi West and AIC Kijabe hospitals after the shooting.
“I was instructed to visit all those hospitals to get treatment notes and any clothes won by the accused,” Ms Njoki recounted, adding that she later handed over the investigations to the homicide department of the DCI.
Mr Irungu and Ms Maribe have denied murdering Ms Kimani at her residence on the night of September 19, 2018. They are out on bond.
Ms Njoki was cross-examined by defence lawyers Prof Hassan Nandwa and Katwa Kigen for Mr Irungu and Maribe, respectively.