On the last day of January 2008, then Ainamoi MP David Kimutai Too and a traffic police officer Eunice Chepkwony were killed in a hail of bullets in Eldoret town. The man convicted of the murder was a traffic police officer, Andrew Omwenga, who had been trailing them on a motorbike.
Initial reports showed it could have been a crime of passion. Angered that his alleged lover was having a secret affair with the MP, the killer cop is said to have whipped out his Ceska pistol and fired a shot which missed her. He fired the second and third bullets that caught her on the ribs and thigh, sending her on the ground unconscious.
Shell-shocked by the turn of events, the MP ran to his parked car but it was too late as the enraged policeman pumped bullets into his head killing him instantly. Omwenga proceeded to flee the scene at high speed surrendering himself at the Turbo DO’s camp where he was disarmed and arrested.
Members of the public who heard gunshots ran to the scene and rushed the wounded traffic officer to the Moi Referral and Teaching Hospital where she was pronounced dead while undergoing treatment. The killer cop was consequently charged with two counts of murder at the Nakuru High Court before Judge David Maraga.
The prosecution paraded 23 witnesses. In his judgement delivered on October 29, 2009, Justice Maraga acquitted Omwenga of murder but found him guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter and sentenced him to serve 10 years in prison. Maraga recalled that the former policeman had readily admitted having fatally shot the politician but rejected his assertion that Eunice had accidentally shot herself as he struggled to wrestle a G3 rifle from her grip.
Eunice was in possession of two guns at the time of the tragedy. The judge said it was common knowledge that Omwenga and Eunice were lovers and planned to marry. They had met at the Kenya Police Training College, Kiganjo, in 2000 and re-united in Eldoret six years later. After the death of Eunice’s husband in June 2007, they renewed their relationship and promised to marry after Omwenga formally took her to his Nyamira home and introduced her as his second wife.
The judge found there was no evidence to suggest Omwenga had pre-meditated intention to kill either of the deceased persons. The prosecution had failed to prove malice afore-thought. In his sworn testimony, Omwenga had explained how he had trailed Eunice and Too to West Indies estate in Eldoret town and found it odd that they were having a discussion in an open field away from the residential area.
When he got near them, he realised that she was in a foul mood. He nevertheless stretched his hand to greet her, but before she made any move, a man came out of the car and asked her “Huyu ndiyo yule mjinga amekuharibia jina (is this the fool who has spoiled your reputation)?” The judge ruled that there was no evidence that Omwenga armed himself to kill or even do grievous harm to either of the deceased persons.
He was issued with a firearm for use in the course of his normal duties in event of need. He had no problem with Eunice. There is also no evidence that he personally knew the MP or had even heard of him previously, the judge reasoned. “In the circumstances, I find Omwenga had no reason to kill either of them. I also find neither Eunice nor Too had any intention of killing or even doing grievous harm to the accused person.
They were simply annoyed by the rumours that they attributed to the accused person that Eunice had contracted HIV/Aids from her late husband and wanted to scare him off from further spreading them. That is why neither of them fired even one shot,” Justice Maraga said in his ruling.
“The sum total of all this evidence is that faced with two armed people, who he thought wanted to kill him, I find Omwenga was justified in thinking he was in imminent danger and was provoked to shoot both the deceased in self-defence,” the judge had pointed out.
“I find the accused person was temporarily deprived of the power of self-control as a result of which he shot them. However, considering the fact that accused is the one who followed the deceased to West Indies Estate and that neither of the deceased fired even one shot, I find the accused person should have shot them on the arms or legs to disarm them and not on the head, chest and abdomen as he did.
In the circumstance, I find the accused person used excessive force in shooting them,” the judge concluded. The questions that beg answers are; Were Too and Eunice mere victims of a love triangle or was there a political twist to the killing? Any new information on the case can be shared on [email protected]