Saturday, November 27, 2021
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Man who murdered Catholic priest jailed for 30 years

In Summary

  • Fr. Michael Maingi’s body was found buried in a shallow grave in Mbeere sub-County.
  • Muthinji Mutunga said the priest molested him, called him ‘babe’,’sweetheart.’

Michael Muthinji Mutunga, 26, who confessed to killing Catholic priest Fr. Michael Maingi has been jailed for 30 years.

The High Court at Embu this morning ruled that this was appropriate punishment for the October, 2019 incident that shocked the nation.

Muthinji had told the court that the sodomised him, occasionally calling him ‘babe’ and ‘sweetheart; He alleged that the psychological pain pushed him to the wall, prompting him to stab the priest to death.

Upon the murder, the accused buried the clergyman’s body in a shallow grave and went into hiding. The body was retrieved from the grave along the sandy banks of River Mashamba in Mbeere sub-County.

Muthinji was arrested in Kilifi alongside his two accused Kavivya Mwangangi and Solomon Mutava. 

Through the prosecutor Leah Mati, the court heard that the accused and the clergyman knew one another prior to 2017 when he (the priest) was sponsoring the young man’s education. The priest, aged 43, was working at Thatha Parish in Machakos County.

Michael Muthinji’s Claims

Muthinji claimed that the priest began making sexual advances at him and at one time, while they were making merry, spiked his drink. The deceased allegedly proceeded to sodomise him.

Upon confronting him, Muthinji says the priest replied: “Kama nime kuumiza pole sana chukua pesa nimeweka juu ya meza ukanunue dawa chemist wacha nikimbie kazi.”

The accused also told the court that the clergyman had infected him with a sexually transmitted disease and left him with suicidal thoughts.

His callous reaction to the claims of molestation sparked his anger, leading him to knock the priest unconscious before stabbing him to death. Muthinji then stuffed the body in a gunny bag and buried it in a shallow grave.

Embu Resident judge Lucy Njuguna said though the circumstances sorrounding the case were regrettable, Muthinji had other options of seeking recompense. Muthinji, first charged in 2019, has 14 days to appeal the sentence.


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