A Kenyan Police officer who killed 10 people at a bar while hunting for his alleged unfaithful lover has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Peter Karanja, an administration police officer was charged in November 2010, for the murder of 10 persons he killed in Siakago town of Embu county.
According to the charge sheet, Karanja, who had been deployed to guard the then-Mbeere North district commissioner’s residence, randomly fired bullets, killing Anthony Mwaniki, Frida Ng’endo, Kenwin Muthomi, Agostino Kinyua, George Ng’ang’a, Domisiano Muchira, Ephantus Munyi, Rachel Muthoni, Wilfred Gitonga, and Fredrick Okwako on November 6, 2010. Gitonga and Okwako were his colleagues.
The court heard that while at his work station, Karanja was informed that his girlfriend had been spotted flirting with other men in one of the bars in Siakago. At about 11:30 pm on November 6, he headed to the nearby New Coconut Bar to look for his girlfriend and upon arrival, he opened fire, killing three people on the spot. He proceeded to Waiyaki Bar where he gunned down the barman who had come to usher him in.
Karanja later walked to Club Tha Shrek where six people were drinking and he killed two women and two men then left.
While on the way, he met his two colleagues who had come to respond to the shooting, shot them both in the back before turning the gun on himself but unknown to him, he had ran out of ammunition.
On Thursday, December 5, Embu High Court judge Florence Muchemi sentenced Karanja to 20 years in jail for each of the ten deaths that he caused. The judge, however, ruled that the sentences will run concurrently.
Karanja’s lawyer, Victor Andande, requested Justice Muchemi to give his client a non-custodial sentence, saying Karanja was remorseful and suffered a terminal illness.
While reading her verdict, Justice Muchemi said the prosecution proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Karanja killed his ten victims, who had not provoked him in any way.
The judge declined to give Karanja a non-custodial sentence, saying she wanted Karanja’s punishment to send a stern warning to people who are intending to commit a similar offence. The convict has 14 days to appeal against the ruling.