Four people accused of butchering to death a suspected chicken chief at Khayega, Kakamega county, will remain in police custody for two weeks.
Francis Liseche alias President, Agapitus Ingosi, Evans Ashimudu and Reuben Shitambasi appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Hezel Wandere on Monday.
Investigating Officer Athman Ali in a sworn affidavit successfully moved the court to allow him 15 days to complete the investigations before the accused could plead to murder charges. They will be remanded at Shinyalu police station.
“The suspects were arrested on July 28 after the police traced the first suspect captured in the video cutting the deceased while a crowd is cheering him. We are yet to trace eye witnesses and thus we pray that the court may grant us 15 days to conclude the investigations,” Ali said.
Ali wants more time to carry out a postmortem on the body of the deceased and conduct mental test on the suspects to establish whether they can stand the murder trial.
Ali told the court that they are yet to ascertain the identity of the deceased since he was not a resident and did not have any identification document with him.
Ali said that is yet to submit the deceased’s fingerprints to National Registration Bureau for identification purposes.
The documents tendered in court reveal that the deceased was in the company of another person who was arrested while trying to sell the battery at a nearby mechanic shop.
The four are alleged to have murdered the man on July 12 at Khayega on allegations he had stolen a car battery, two chickens and a charcoal jiko. They were arrested over the weekend after a video of them slashing the deceased surfaced on social media.
In the video, one of the suspects said to be Liseche is seen smirking a brand new pang all over the body of the deceased.
The magistrate noted that the matter was of high public interest and that the suspects are likely to abscond court if released.
Earlier reports indicated that the man who was killed was a student at Sigalagala national polytechnic. But sources within the college told the Star that the deceased was a former student at the institution. He completed his studies last year.
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A resident at Khayega who declined to be named told the Star that the suspects raided the house of a man suspected of stealing two chicken, a car battery and a Charcoal stove and found the deceased in his house after he escaped.
“That man was a friend of the real suspect and not a thief. They dragged him out of the house and started slashing him before setting him a blaze,” he said.
The government on Monday issued a statement condemning the murder. Interior ministry established that the incident was falsely reported to police as a case of mob justice.
“The police immediately launched a massive operation in the area and have since arrested 26 suspects. Those arrested include the acting chief of the area, the suspected murderer, the owner of the crude weapon used in the murder, as well as individuals who stood by and watched the merciless act unfold without taking any action,” CS Fred Matiang’i said in a statement.
But on Monday, only four were paraded before a court for murder charges.
HILTON OTENYO/The Star