An Administration Police officer who shot and killed 10 people while pursuing his girlfriend was on Thursday sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Delivering the ruling, Embu resident judge Florence Muchemi handed the man identified as Peter Karanja, charged with murder, 20 years for each of the 10 counts but said they would run concurrently.
While reading the verdict, Justice Muchemi said the prosecution proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Karanja killed the innocent souls.
The former cop is said to have committed the offence nine years ago in different bars in Siakago, Embu County after learning that his girlfriend was flirting with other men in a local joint.
He was reportedly on duty at the District Commissioner’s residence the night he committed the offence.
The court heard that at about 11:30 PM on November 6, 2010, he excused himself to answer a call of nature but instead walked down the streets and into different bars.
He would ask for his girlfriend and randomly open fire at revellers killing most of them on the spot.
After running out of bullets, he surrendered to officers who had launched a manhunt for him.
Karanja’s lawyer Victor Andande had requested the court for a non-custodial sentence but the magistrate declined saying the offence was too serious.
Andande further requested the court to backdate the sentence arguing that his client had been in custody for nine years since the killing took place in 2010.
He also told the court that the accused was remorseful and was suffering from a terminal illness hence deserved leniency.
Justice Muchemi, however, asked the defence to make a formal application saying she could not depend on his verbal application.
Karanja has two weeks (14 days) to file an appeal against the ruling.