- Teacher Jane Muthoni, to serve 30 yrs in prison for murdering former Kiru Boys Principal Solomon Mwangi
Teacher Jane Muthoni together with co-accused Isaac Ng’ang’a will serve 30 yrs in prison for murdering her husband, the former Kiru Boys Principal Solomon Mwangi in 2016, the court has ruled.
Justice Joel Ngugi, while making the ruling, acknowledged that the two were both first-time offenders and that Muthoni has young children who consider her the sole breadwinner.
Justice Ngugi however said the killing was premeditated as evidence presented in the case had shown that there was intent and several attempts to commit the crime.
“Both accused persons had opportunities to walk back but they chose the path of death, I have come to the conclusion that custodial sentence of 30 years imprisonment of the two,” ruled the judge.
The two were found guilty of killing Mr Mwangi on May 18, 2021. Mr Mwangi, a former Principal of Kiru Boys High school, was found murdered at a coffee estate in Karakuta, Murang’a County on November 11, 2016, five days after he was reported missing.
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 body of the deceased was discovered with his hands tied, face badly bruised and some of his teeth were missing.