A city bar owner who shot dead a 27-year-old lawyer has been found guilty of murder.
Erastus Ngura Odhiambo was found guilty of shooting dead Ms Linda Wanjiku Irungu in the wee hours of December 11, 2014 at Buru Buru Phase 5 in Nairobi.
Justice Stellah Mutuku said Odhiambo committed the offence after visiting Ms Irungu’s house thrice on the fateful night after Ms Irungu declined to join him for a night out.
The judge said when Odhiambo found Ms Irungu trying to drive out of her compound, he dragged her out of the car then shot her after a struggle as two guards watched.
The incident awoke neighbours of Waihuru Court where she lived.
Justice Mutuku rejected Odhiambo’s defence that it was Ms Irungu who pulled the trigger of the pistol as she was drunk. The judge said Odhiambo, 37, had planned to kill Ms Irungu as he had gone to her house with his gun cocked.
The judge said although the accused denied the shooting, the bullet recovered from Ms Irungu’s body emanated from his gun.
“Although the accused claims the deceased reached out for his gun and fired in the air, it is impossible for the bullet to have changed directions to hit her at the back. It is the accused who fired the fatal shot which killed Ms Irungu with whom they had been quarrelling,” the judge said.
She added: “Odhiambo found the deceased driving out in a bid to run away from him. She was dressed in pyjamas. He blocked her and drew his gun from his trouser. He opened the door of her vehicle, dragged her out, pushed her towards her house.
She resisted as she struggled to free herself. It is then that he shot her in the right upper back inflicting a fatal injury,” the judge said.
Ms Irungu told Odhiambo “you have shot me”. “She couldn’t walk any more. She fell, then succumbed to the injuries a few minutes later while being rushed to hospital,” said Justice Mutuku.
The judge found that all the evidence places the accused at the scene and he is to blame for the lawyer’s death. “From the totality of the evidence adduced, I find the accused guilty of murdering Linda Wanjiku Irungu,” ruled Justice Mutuku.
State prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki applied to be allowed to present the victim’s impact report from her family and also to establish whether he has previous convictions.
The judge will hand down a sentence on July 31 after receiving the accused mitigation and the victim’s impact report.