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Buruburu bar owner denied bail in wife murder charge

A Buruburu bar owner charged with the murder of his wife will remain in custody, a Nairobi court ruled on Tuesday.

Mr Erastus Odhiambo alias Ediot allegedly killed his wife Linda Wanjiku on the night of December 11 last year at Buruburu estate in Nairobi.

Mr Erastus Odhiambo with his wife Linda Wanjiku during happier times. PHOTO | NAIROBI NEWS
Mr Erastus Odhiambo with his wife Linda Wanjiku during happier times. PHOTO | NAIROBI NEWS

Justice Luka Kimaru said the prosecution gave compelling reasons showing the suspect as a threat to witnesses.

“There are genuine apprehensions that his release may amount to witness intimidation and interference in the murder trial.

“He may renew his request for bail once the testimony of key witnesses is secured in court,” he ruled.

Justice Kimaru ordered that the suspect be detained in custody until October 12 when the first prosecution witnesses are expected to testify.

BOND REQUEST

The accused, he said, can then make a fresh bond application.

The prosecution argued that the evidence of a sister of the deceased, a night guard and another relative who witnessed the incident be recorded before the court allows a bond request.

“If the accused is released on bail, key witnesses among them those who saw the alleged injuries inflicted on the deceased, will be in fear,” the judge ruled on Tuesday.

He explained that releasing the suspect on bond posed the threat of prejudicing the prosecution’s case.

Mr Odhiambo is accused of pulling his wife out of a car she was escaping in before shooting her from the back. He also allegedly stepped on her while she lay on the ground bleeding.

He allegedly tried to prevent Ms Wanjiku’s relatives from entering into the compound to take her for treatment.

EMOTIONS

Mr Odiambo allegedly also pursued a vehicle that later rushed her to hospital but lost track, according to the prosecution.

However, lawyer Robert Onyango for the suspect said the prosecution is “whipping up emotions without paying attention to the provisions of the Constitution which allows murder suspects bond”.

Mr Odhiambo has denied killing the wife. His lawyer has claimed that his character “is not that of a man on the run as he surrendered to the police after the incident.”

The hearing is set for three days starting from April 1.