The High Court of Kenya has found Joseph Irungu alias Jowie guilty for the murder of the late Monica Kimani, in a case also involving his ex-fiancé former TV presenter Jacque Maribe.
Kimani was found murdered in her Lamuria Garden apartment in the Kilimani area in September 2018.
In the February 9, 2024 ruling, Justice Grace Nzioka found Jowie guilty of the murder in a series of events.
“Therefore, it is the finding of this court that the prosecution has proved beyond a reasonable doubt all the ingredients of the offence of murder, the death that occurred, the cause of death and the person who committed that offence. It was not a case of homicide, It was unlawful. Therefore, I find the first accused person guilty as charged herein of the offence of murder,” she ruled.
The judge further noted that his bond shall be withdrawn, with the sentencing set to take place on March 8,2024. He shall be held in custody until the day of his sentencing.
On the other hand, Maribe was acquitted of the murder charges.
According to the judge, the prosecution side did not adduce adequate evidence to prove that she was guilty of the murder charges.
Justice Nzioka explained that the prosecution involved ingredients such as proving the occurrence and cause of death, proving if it was lawful or unlawful, if it was committed by the accused or not and any malice.
The Justice also noted that the prosecution involved a total of 35 witnesses with the accused also presenting witnesses in their defense.
The prosecution revealed that the deceased did not die out of a natural death and so the Court found out that the death was unlawful.
“Monica Kimani didn’t die a natural death nor an accidental therefore, this is a clear case of homicide. The finding of this court is that the prosecution has proved that the death was unlawful,” said the judge.
Also, the judge noted that the court found that the defense by Jowie stating that he did not know the deceased prior to her death is untenable, insincere, an afterthought, and false.
The prosecution also revealed that Jowie had stolen an Identity Card (ID) of one Dominic Hosea two days before the day of the murder.
Hosea who had testified before the court, said that he had gone to work at Royal Park Estate where Jowie and Maribe were staying and left his ID at the gate before it was stolen.
The case had taken a twist on February 8, 2024, after the Court issued an update noting that the ruling that had been scheduled for March 15, would be delivered earlier.
In a statement from the judiciary seen by The Kenya Times, it detailed that all parties involved in the case had issued consent to allow the judgement to be moved to an earlier date.
“Following consent by parties, the judgment in the Milimani HCCR NO. 51 OF 2018 R. v JOSEPH KURIA IRUNGU alias JOWIE & JACQUELINE WANJIRU MARIBE that was scheduled for March 15, 2024, has been moved to tomorrow Friday, February 9, 2024, at 9:00 am, Court 19,” the statement read in part.
The initial date set for March 15 had also been a result of another postponement of the case involving the former tv host.
Maribe misses court
On January 26, 2024, Justice Nzioka postponed the judgement to March after Maribe, the co-accused, failed to show up.
It is in her statement that she revealed that she would not be available in the month of February due to other engagements.
“I have looked at my diary and the court is not available in the whole month of January and February. “Other than this matter I have a few other serious matters that I am dealing with. I will not be available from the 8th of February to 8th of March. My earliest judgement would be 15th of March,” she said then.
This forced the judge to postpone the ruling as she further explained that she had received information that Maribe had fallen sick.
On the other hand, Jowie, who is the first accused person in the case was in court for delivery of the verdict.
Justice Nzioka however noted that the judgment was ready for delivery arguing that she had got crucial exhibits that would aid in the case determination.
Monica Kimani murder
The two had been charged with the murder of the late businesswoman in 2018 when they were still dating.
On September 19, 2018, Kimani arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) from her business trip to South Sudan.
From the airport, she boarded a taxi to her apartment located at Lamuria Gardens in Kilimani, Nairobi, to spend the night.
Later, she was found murdered the following morning with her throat slit and the body dumped in the bathtub with the water running.
According to a police report, Jowie’s movement was traced to have started at Roadhouse Grill in Kilimani on September 19, 2018.
He is said to have arrived at the restaurant at around 6pm using Maribe’s car while in the company of two friends.
At around 8pm he left the venue for Lenana Road where he took a taxi to Monica’s house at Lamuria Gardens, which he accessed using a stolen ID card and went to House Number 8 on Block A where Monica stayed.
During the prosecution, a witness named called Lee Omondi identified Jowie as the last person with Monica before she was found murdered.
The accused, who had earlier been freed from Kamiti on a Ksh2 million cash bail, also denied knowing the late Monica.