Lecturer sentenced to death for killing husband over property

Sheila Wanjiku Kibinge at the High Court, where she was sentenced to death for killing her husband, Leonard Kibinge Kiruri, on April 14, 2014 in Gitaru village, Kikuyu, Kiambu County. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A woman has been sentenced to death for murdering her husband in a row over family property three years ago.

Sheila Wanjiku Kibinge, said to be a university lecturer based in the US and also a PhD student, was handed the sentence by High Court Judge Jessie Lessit.

“The prosecution, led by State Prosecutor Evelyn Onunga, has proved beyond reasonable doubt that you purposed to kill your husband although you allege you were both kidnapped the night your husband was executed,” Justice Lessit said.

The judge dismissed her defence that it is the kidnappers who killed her husband.

Justice Lessit said the accused murdered her husband by shooting him in the head, neck and chest.


“The number of shots fired at the deceased, Leonard Kibinge Kiruri on the night of April 14, 2014 establishes pre-meditated malice aforethought,” Justice Lessit stated.

Although the mother of two pleaded for leniency, the judge said, there is only one verdict provided for in the law and that is “to suffer death in the manner prescribed in the law.”

Kibinge had denied she murdered her husband in Gitaru village, Kikuyu, Kiambu County.

Justice Lessit pointed out that there was no direct evidence linking her to the murder as the weapon used in the crime was never recovered.

But she said circumstantial evidence and inconsistencies in her account of events were her undoing.

Kibinge had claimed that she and her husband were abducted that night and the kidnappers shot him dead.


In her testimony, the woman said she walked away when she heard a blast before their car crashed into a fence.

She said she did not check on her husband, who was driving the car before it crashed, a fact that the judge faulted.

Justice Lessit said she found it interesting that after the incident, the accused bypassed the Kikuyu Police Station that was near the scene and went to report the matter at the Central Police Station in Nairobi.

Witnesses said the accused had also changed her clothes by the time she reported the matter to the police.