Mavoko 3: Suspect in Willie Kimani's Murder Case Sentenced to Death

A collage of the late lawyer Willie Kimani
A collage of the late lawyer Willie Kimani, a Human Rights Lawyer who was murdered on June 23, 2016.
IJM Kenya

The four officers, Fredrick Leliman (the main suspect), Stephen Cheburet, Sylvia Wanjiku, and informer Peter Ngugi, accused of murdering Nairobi lawyer Willie Kimani, were sentenced on Friday, February 3. 

In her ruling, Justice Jessie Lessit decreed a death sentence for Leliman, while the second accused received 30 years behind bars.

On the other hand, the third accused will serve 24 years in prison, while the police informer was sentenced to 20 years.

Below is the video:

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“First accused is sentenced to death in each of the three counts, the second accused is sentenced to thirty years imprisonment in each of the three terms with the prison terms running concurrently. 

"The third accused is sentenced to 24 years imprisonment in each of the three counts with the prison terms running concurrently, and the fifth accused is sentenced to twenty years imprisonment,” Justice Jessie Lessit stated.

Lessit stated that she considered Sylvia Wanjiru the youngest in the group and a junior at the time of the crime. However, the judge stated that she played a role that was not dismissible.

Moreover, the court also considered the confession by informer Peter Ngugi noting that it gave the authorities a breakthrough in the case.

"It was his confession that shaped the investigation. He did not colour anything white that was black," Lessit stated.

Justice Lessit ordered the prison department to consider the period each accused had spent in custody during the pendency of the case.

Additionally, Lessit gave the four a two-week window to appeal the ruling and the conviction against them.

"They have the right to appeal both against both the conviction and the sentence within 14 days from today's verdict," Lessit stated.

The Fourth accused person in the case had been earlier acquitted.

Lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwendwa and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri were killed by the four in 2016, and their bodies were found dumped in a river in Ol Donyo Sabuk in July 2016. 

 Justice Jessie Lessit reading the verdict in lawyer Willie Kimani murder case at the Milimani High Court on Friday July 22, 2022
Justice Jessie Lessit reading the verdict in lawyer Willie Kimani's murder case at the Milimani High Court on Friday, July 22, 2022.

Kimani's case began in 2015 when his client, boda boda rider Josephat Mwenda, was accidentally shot by officer Fredrick Leliman.

In an attempt to seek justice, the case subjected Mwendwa to threats and intimidation from the officer involved.

Lawyer Kimani took up the case in 2016 after the boda boda rider was falsely accused of violating traffic laws and charged in court in a bid to drop complaints against Leliman.

Lessit found them guilty of murder on July 2o22, following years of hearings.

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