Titus Ngamau alias Katitu (left) talks to his lawyer Cliff Ombeta at Milimani Court on January 26, 2016. PHOTO | EVANS HABILTitus Ngamau alias Katitu (left) talks to his lawyer Cliff Ombeta at Milimani Court on January 26, 2016. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL
By RICHARD MUNGUTI

A police officer, whose arrest sparked protests and running battles between residents and law enforcers at Githurai 45 over the killing of two brothers has been convicted.

High Cour Judge James Wakiaga on Wednesday found Titus Ngamau Musila alias Katitu guilty of murdering Kenneth Kimani Mwangi on April 14, 2013 at the Githurai 45 bus stage.

Musila’s lawyer Cliff Ombeta had asked the court to acquit the police constable since there was no evidence to prove he is the one who had shot dead the deceased.

Mr Ombeta presented evidence to show that the bullet head retrieved from the skull of the deceased did not emanate from the accused’s firearm.

The defence lawyer also argued that the prosecution did not avail in court three other officers who were on patrol duties with Katitu on the fateful day.

But in his judgement, Justice Wakiaga said the prosecution testimony proved that the accused felled the deceased during the operation to weed out thuggery in the area.

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He stated that the evidence adduced directly pointed at the police officer whom the court heard was very popular with Githurai 45 residents for combating crime.

After his arrest, demonstrators, led by former Ruiru MP Esther Gathogo blocked the Thika Highway alleging that the officer had been framed, yet he had for long been involved in battling crime in the area.

After making his ruling, Justice Wakiaga cancelled the Sh1million bond which had been deposited in court court by Governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi (when he was then Senator Nairobi) and also directed the accused to remain in custody awaiting sentencing on February 27, 2018.

The judge directed the prison authorities to escort the accused to the Kasarani Police Lines to facilitate the removal of his belongings from the government house he had been allocated.

Justice Wakiaga also called for a probation officers report which he will consider while delivering the sentence.

MURDER CHARGES

“The accused had earlier threatened the deceased’s brother, the late Oscar Mwangi, before the shooting incident at the Githurai 45 Stage. This shows there was malice aforethought,” the judge ruled.

Mr Musila had been charged with murdering Kenneth although rights groups and Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) had pressed he be charged with killing the two brothers.

Justice Wakiaga said that although the bullet head found recovered in the deceased’s skull did not emanate from the Ceska Pistol Musila had been issued with, there had been an attempt to cover up the murder.

Musila, who shot into the limelight after residents, in support of the operation to wipe out crime in the area, blocked Thika Superhighway for a week in protests following his arrest, pleaded his innocence before the court.

He submitted that the prosecution had failed to prove that he killed Mwangi. He further pleaded with the court to consider the fact that the bullet did not come from his gun.