In a court case that has lasted years, Joseph Irungu, better known as Jowie, has finally been convicted of the murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani, while journalist Jacque Maribe has been cleared of involvement in the crime.
The verdict, delivered by Justice Grace Nzioka, marks a significant milestone in a case that has gripped the nation.
The ruling, announced by Justice Nzioka, affirmed the prosecution's assertion that Monica Kimani's demise was not accidental but a deliberate act of homicide.
"It is the finding of this court the first accused person murdered Monica Kimani. I find the first accused person guilty as charged," stated the judge unequivocally.
Regarding Jacque Maribe's role in the case, the court found her guilty of providing false information to law enforcement and attempting to tamper with evidence related to the murder. Her actions were deemed as aiding and abetting the crime.
"In the case against former TV journalist Jacque Maribe, the court found that she misled the police by giving false information about the murder of the businesswoman. She was also found to have been an accomplice by trying to destroy evidence that pointed to the murder of the businesswoman," remarked Justice Nzioka.
Moreover, Maribe's provision of her vehicle to Jowie, enabling him to access Monica's residence, was viewed as complicity in the crime.
"Maribe was also found to have abetted the murder by giving her car to Jowie, which he used to travel to Monica's place at Lamuria Garden apartment in the Kilimani area, where the murder happened on September 19, 2018," stated the judge.
Moreover, the court found Jowie guilty of theft, having stolen the identification card of Dominic Bisera Haron, which he used to gain access to the premises where Kimani resided. This revelation further compounds the severity of his actions leading up to the tragic incident.
"Dominic Bisera lost his identity card on 17th September 2018 when he went to Royal Park Estate to look for casual work. There is evidence that the person who went to the deceased house on 19th September 2018 produced an ID in the name of Dominic Bisera. A witness identified the first accused person on the parade as Dominic Bisera," Nzioka noted.
The court further established that Jowie had fabricated his claims of unfamiliarity with Monica before the incident, citing evidence of their prior acquaintance.
"It is the finding of this court that the evidence by the first accused person that he didn't know the deceased prior to her death is an afterthought and is false. The first accused person was known to the deceased prior to her death," affirmed Justice Nzioka.
Additionally, Jowie's possession and utilization of a firearm in subduing Monica before her murder were highlighted as pivotal elements in the case.
On the gun that Jowie possessed, which he 'accidentally' shot himself with, the judge ruled that it was used in subduing the deceased before the murder,
"By the 19th of September 2019, the first accused person was in possession of a gun belonging to Brian Kasaine. I am in concurrence with the submissions by the prosecution that the gun was intended and used for the purpose of subduing the deceased," emphasized the court.
Furthermore, discrepancies emerged regarding the accounts provided by both Jowie and Maribe concerning the shooting incident. Maribe's initial statement to authorities, alleging an attack at their residence's gate, was debunked during the trial, underscoring the extent of deception surrounding the case.
Despite Maribe's acquittal, the court's verdict underscores the severity of Jowie's culpability in Monica Kimani's untimely demise.
The conclusion of this trial marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of justice for the victim and her family, albeit amid lingering questions surrounding the circumstances leading to her tragic end.