The case in which a former school principal was found guilty of killing her husband, Solomon Mbuthi Mwangi, has taken an unexpected twist following an emotional testimony by the victim's daughter.
June Mbuthi, the daughter of Jane Muthoni and her deceased husband, pleaded with the court to forgive her mother despite being found guilty of murdering the former Kiru Boys High School principal.
June was making the plea on a virtual court session on Tuesday, May 18, where her mother, Jane Muthoni, was set to be sentenced.
While making her plea, June stated that it had been a tough time for both her and her siblings during the five years that her mother had spent in remand.
"We all want justice for my father. He was my best friend but the absence of my parents has been so hard for my siblings and I for the past 5 years. We request the court to have mercy on my mum.
"I know it can't be undone but we don't have anyone we can fully rely on. All that time, we have been depending on third parties like relatives and friends," she pleaded.
The accused, also a former principal at Icaciri Secondary School, was found guilty of murdering her husband.
Joseph Njuguna, a convict turned state witness confessed how he was contacted by a woman identified as Damaris to participate in the killing mission.
Damaris had been contacted by Muthoni who had suspected that her husband Mbuthi was having an affair with an M-PESA shop attendant.
She had sent hitmen to her shop but failed to kill her after they realised the risks involved.
Four months later, however, Muthoni decided to go for plan B which was to kill her husband. Mwangi's mutilated body was found eight days later in a coffee plantation in Juja, Kiambu County.
Njuguna, who pleaded guilty and was turned into a state witness was sentenced by justice Joel Ngugi for seven years in 2017 for manslaughter.
Muthoni and his co-accused Isaac Ng'anga are awaiting sentencing on June 3, 2021.
In the past, such mitigations for mercy had little sway in murder cases as the law stipulated a mandatory death sentence.
However, the landmark Muruatetu ruling declared the mandatory death sentence to be unconstitutional and allowed judges some leeway to change sentencing based on the circumstances in each case.
If the judge was compelled by the deceased daughter's plea for mitigation, then it could see accused given a less severe punishment on sentencing day.
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