Kenya Airforce soldier, Major Peter Mugure was arraigned in a Nanyuki court on Monday, following the gruesome murder of his estranged wife and two children whose bodies were discovered buried in a shallow grave on Saturday.
Mugure who was brought to court alongside another suspect, an employee at the Laikipia Airbase, Collins Pamba, however did not take plea as the prosecution led by the Central Region Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Peter Mailanyi sought for more time from the court to complete investigations.
Nanyuki courts were a beehive of activity for better part of the day as residents jammed the compound and police had a difficult time trying to control the surging crowd seeking to catch a glimpse of the suspects to be charged with the murder that shocked the nation.
Mailanyi told the Nanyuki Chief Magistrate (CM), Lucy Mutai that detectives working on the case needed at least 21 days to complete their probe, before the two can take plea since the case had many “complexities and technicalities.”
“Detectives working on the case need more time to trace more suspects who are at large in several counties as well as carry out forensics on the mobile phone of one of the murder victims,” Mailanyi said.
He added that DNA samples from the victims had been extracted for analysis with a view to connecting the suspects with the crime.
Mailanyi further asked the court not to release the suspects on bail, arguing that they were likely to abscond court sessions and might interfere with witnesses.
However, Mugure through his lawyer Mwangi Wanjohi opposed the 21 days detention pending investigations, arguing that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had adequate personnel and expertise to complete investigations in a shorter period.
Wanjohi argued that 21 days were too many observing that his client should not be held for more than 10 days as investigations are being carried out.
The lawyer further argued that the issue of bail should not arise at the moment since the suspects have not been formally charged.
The CM however, allowed investigators to detain the suspects for 21 days and set the mention date for December 9, when the suspects will be brought back to court.
She directed that Major Mugure be detained at Nanyuki police station and Pamba at Naromoru police station.
On Saturday evening, police in Nanyuki recovered bodies of a woman and her two children who disappeared three weeks ago buried in a shallow grave on the outskirts of the town.
The trio Joyce Syombua 31, her daughter Shanice Maua 10 and son Prince Michael 5, disappeared on October 26 after visiting Major Peter Mugure at the Laikipia Airbase. Mugure was Syombua’s estranged husband.
The bodies were retrieved from the site which the defunct Municipal Council of Nanyuki used as a cemetery but it is no longer in use.
By Martin Munyi