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Man found guilty of murdering photojournalist

A farmhand in Bomet has been convicted of murdering a photojournalist-cum-cleric two years ago.

Wilson Chepchilat aka Star was found guilty by Bomet High Court Judge Martin Muya of murdering pastor John Makibior on August 13, 2017 at Kakimirai village in Bomet East sub county.

Mr Makibior, who worked as a cleric with the Africa Gospel Church (AGC), doubled up as a photographer and editor at Radio Injili.

His throat was slit, head cut and fingers chopped off in a horrific murder that shocked the South Rift region.

The body of the photojournalist with deep cut wounds on the back and spine was dumped at Chulchuliet River some 2km from his homestead, shortly after the murder, which was committed as he prepared to go to church.

Bomet murder suspect Wilson Chepchilat aka ‘Star’ attempts to cover his face after a judge convicted him of murdering a journalist. VITALIS KIMUTAI

SUBSTANTIAL DOUBT

“An alibi presented by the defendant does not create a substantial doubt in the mind of this court with all the 18 witnesses having placed him at the murder scene,” stated Justice Muya on Monday.

The Judge further said, “A gunny bag recovered from the accused person had a bible and a cap belonging to the deceased while DNA tests from the government chemists tabled in court clearly proved that the bloodstains in a panga recovered – which was the murder weapon – matched with the blood of the victim.”

Justice Muya said the court was satisfied with the overwhelming evidence from the prosecution with the murder weapon having been recovered from the suspect who could not explain how he came about it.

“The circumstantial evidence tabled in court clearly shows that Chepchilat murdered Makibior. He is hereby convicted accordingly. Sentencing will be on March 11, upon production of probation report,” stated Justice Muya.

The farmhand had worked for the family for seven years before committing the offence. He is said to have had breakfast with the deceased and proceeded to administer drugs to a sick cow before the murder.