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Court postpones the sentencing of a teacher who killed Kiiru High School principal Solomon Mbuthi

The sentencing of a then headmistress at Icaciri Secondary School in Kiambu, who allegedly hired assassins in November 2016 to kill her spouse Solomon Mbuthi Mwangi, has been postponed.

High Court of Kenya in Nakuru found Jane Muthoni guilty of murdering her husband, by then a principal Kiru Boys’ High School. Also convicted was Muthoni’s co-accused, Isaac Ng’ang’a, alias Gikuyu.

Mrs. Muthoni denied her participation in the murder conspiracy claiming that on Nov 6th, she was called by abductors via phone and reported the matter to the police. The abductors later switched off their phones after realizing that the police were trailing them.

However, Joseph Njuguna, a convict-turned-state witness spew the beans on the murder plot. He narrated his confession how he was contacted by a woman identified as Damaris, to carry the killing mission.

The court found out that Damaris had been contracted by the widow Ms. Muthoni after suspecting that her late husband was having an affair with another woman, an M-Pesa shop attendant.

Mr. Joseph Njuguna, currently serving his five-year jail term at Kamiti Maximum Prisons for manslaughter, revealed to the investigators and the court that the primary murder scheme was to kill a female M-Pesa shop attendant in Kiriaini.

However, the scheme failed when the killers toured their supposed target in Murang’a and cosmetically ordered a soft drink and walked away due to the risks involved. The M-Pesa shop was next to a police station and an Equity Bank.

After four months she resolved to go for Plan B which was to assassinate her husband which initially failed when the drugs they used failed to work hence suspending the mission.

Strangled to death

The court was informed that on November 6, when the children had gone to church, the couple drove towards Ndarugo at Uriithi. Muthoni had already drugged her husband with a stronger sedative. The drug was slowly taking effect.

At Ndarugo, they were joined by Kariuki and Ng’ang’a, who Muthoni introduced as the ‘land agents’. The men got in the car to lead the couple to the plots on sale. After driving for a while towards Karakuta Coffee Estate, Muthoni swiftly stopped the car and signaled Mr. Ng’ang’a to act.

Without wasting time, he grasped a sisal rope, tied it around Mbuthi’s neck, and strangled him to death. They then dragged him to a thicket in the coffee plantation, sat him upright, tied his hands from behind, and tied the rope to a tree.

Mwangi’s body was later retrieved in the farm following a five-day search led by Muthoni, his wife who failed to pay the hired criminals a balance of Ksh300,000 leading to the leakage of the scheme.

Guilty of murder

Muthoni and Ng’ang’a denied the charges but Kariuki pleaded guilty and consented to be a state witness. Justice Joel Ngugi sentenced him to seven years in 2017.

The prosecution heard from 21 witnesses including Mr. Kariuki, the principal’s family, and staff, and experts from Safaricom and Airtel, and finally Chief Inspector Clement Mwangi of the homicide department based at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters in Nairobi.

All the 21 witnesses linked the accused to the murder. The data also placed the suspects at the same point during the murder.

“Mr. Kariuki’s detailed account of the murder plan and their activities from June 2016 to the date of Mwangi’s death corroborate the Safaricom and Airtel IT experts’ testimonies,” said Mr. Mwangi.

The sentencing of Jane Muthoni has been postponed to June 3, 2021.


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