The High Court on Thursday acquitted murder suspect Philip Onyancha over insufficient evidence saying “the evidence adduced fell far below the required standard of proof beyond any reasonable doubt”.
Justice Jessie Lesiit accused the prosecution of conducting a shoddy investigation that did not produce evidence to find the accused guilty.
“Investigations into the murder were wanting and had disheartening omissions”, Justice Lesiit said in her ruling.
Mr Onyancha was facing trial over the murder of Jackline Misoi. He was accused of killing her on May 30, 2008, at her flat in Mount Kenya Building along Kombo Munyiri Road, Nairobi.
Justice LesIit in her ruling pointed out some of the “disheartening omissions’ in Onyancha’s murder investigation, including a blatant failure by the prosecution to investigate a stain on the victim’s door, captured by the crime scene officer in his photo of the scene produced as exhibit in court.
“Why would the police not follow this line of investigation, especially because it was the key to unravelling with certainty whether the deceased committed suicide or not?” the judge wondered.
“If it was found to be the blood from the deceased, due to its location, the obvious conclusion would be that it was a third party who stained the door after causing injury to the deceased from which she bled,” she added.
Justice Lesiit however pronounced that Jackline may have been murdered but there was no evidence linking the accused to her death.
“I am convinced that Jackeline may have been murdered. However, there is no evidence that unerringly points to the accused as the author of her death,” ruled the judge.
Onyancha is still facing rape charges in a separate incident where he is accused of attempted rape and assault.
He is accused of attempting to rape his 18-year-old neighbour at Lenana Forest in Nairobi in February 2009.
The complainant told the court that Onyancha accosted her while she was walking to Karen Health Center. He forcefully hugged her and dragged her into the bush where he started touching her private parts.
“I told him to stop but he wrestled me down and started removing my underpants. He also tried to remove my skirt,” said the complainant.
“When he failed to remove my underpants, he took a stone and started hitting me on the head,” she said.
As they were still struggling, two forests rangers came and rescued her. Mr Onyancha allegedly escaped into the forest.