Plea taking for the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldier accused of killing his estranged wife and two children two months ago in Nanyuki Town was for a third time deferred awaiting mental assessment report.
The suspect, Major Peter Mugure, 36, will remain in custody for three more weeks after the prosecution applied for a deferment at the High Court in Nyeri, awaiting tabling of his mental evaluation report to determine his suitability to stand trial.
However, Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Peter Mailanyi, told Judge Jairus Ngaah that the accused was examined on Wednesday, December 18, at the Nyeri Referral Hospital, but the psychiatrist declined to release the report until he interviews a member of his family.
“The accused was examined but the doctor refused to compile and release the report until he interviews his next of kin,” Mailanyi said, as he sought to have the matter deferred to a later date.
Mugure’s Counsel, Cliff Ombeta, who was represented by Lawyer Wanjiku Muguro, said they had contacted his mother, but she could not be available for the doctor’s interview.
While responding to the prosecution argument that it was the duty of the defence to avail a relative of the accused for the interview, Wanjiku said they were under no legal obligation to do so.
The court allowed the application and deferred the plea taking to January 10, 2020 to give the prosecution time to have the assessment report ready.
“In light of the above, the court has no alternative but to defer the matter to a new date,” ruled Justice Ngaah.
Major Mugure is alleged to have murdered his 31-year-old estranged wife Joyce Syombua and their two children, Shanice Maua and Prince Michael aged 10 and 5 respectively.
Their bodies were found stacked in a gunny bag and buried in shallow grave at a Makaburini public cemetery on the outskirts of Nanyuki Town on November 16 when the suspect led the police to the site.
The three were last seen on October 25 when they travelled from Nairobi to Nanyuki to visit Mugure at the army barracks.
They were reported missing on October 27 and a report made at Soweto Police Station.
By Samuel Waititu