Businessman alleged to have hired killers to murder his son after they argued over the son’s former wife.
• Father and son reportedly argued after his son and wife separated. But his father brought the woman back as his own wife and established a business for her. FATHER: Stephen Wang’ondu, who is accused of hiring four killers to eliminate his son, in a Nyeri court on Tuesday, March 2.
A prominent Nyeri businessman, Stephen Wang’ondu, on Tuesday denied charges of murdering his son.
He was charged alongside alleged accomplices James Mahinda, Eddy Kariuki, Raphael Wachira and Geoffrey Warutumo. They also denied the charges.
The four were allegedly paid Sh160,000, with a Sh20,000 down payment.
Also charged was his dead son’s wife, Charity Nyawira. She was released and told to report to police every two weeks for a month. She denied involvement.
The five men are accused of together murdering Daniel Mwangi, 32, on New Year’s Day in Nyeri county outside his house.
Court documents indicate the businessman is alleged to have hired killers to murder his son after they argued over Charity. She and his son had separated but his father took her in, married her and set up a business for her. IN THE DOCK: Geoffrey Warutumo, Raphael Wachira, Eddy Kariuki, James Mahinda and Stephen Wang’ondu in Nyeri court on Tuesday, March 2
They took pleas after the prosecution said they underwent psychiatric exams and were found fit to stand trial. The examination was at Kenyatta National Hospital, Othaya annex.
Prosecutor Duncan Ondimu said the state was not ready to proceed with the bail application as the state plans to file an affidavit objecting to bail for all five.
Ondimu said they were unable to file the affidavit earlier, citing time constraints in the investigations. He asked for two days.
“We praying for another date so be given time to file this affidavit detailing the compelling reasons” to deny bail, he said.
Ondimu requested the court to detain the suspects in different remands due to security concerns and the risks involving one of the suspects.
“The investigating officers had expressed concerns during the period of the detention, details which we would not wish to go into. The matter is being investigated,” he said.
He requested that Wang’ondu be detained at King’ong’o prison, Mahinda at Embu, Kariuki and Wachira at Kiruguya prison while Warutumo would be detained at Mwea prison. THE JUDGE: Judge Florence Muchemi on Tuesday,March 2.
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI
Their lawyers did not object to the remands.
Judge Florence Muchemi set the hearing day for their bail application for March 9, despite objections by all lawyers for the accused.
She said the date was fixed next week as the court will not be sitting on Thursday, when the two requested days end, as the court had other commitments.
“I find the time of two days to be reasonable and the prosecution ought to be allowed time to file the affidavit,” Muchemi said.
The accused first appeared before senior principal magistrate Mathias Okuche more than a week ago but he referred them to the High Court for plea taking.
They have been in police custody during investigations.