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Kenya: Beauty Queen gets death penalty for boyfriend's murder

BY: Nation.co.ke
Ruth Wanjiku Kamande in court. She was sentenced to death for the murder of her boyfriend.
Ruth Wanjiku Kamande in court. She was sentenced to death for the murder of her boyfriend.

A 24-year-old woman found guilty for killing her boyfriend has been sentenced to death.

Giving her ruling on Thursday, Justice Jessie Lesiit said Ruth Wanjiku Kamande deliberately stabbed Farid Mohammed 25 times.

Justice Lesiit said that "young people should know it is not cool to kill your boyfriend or girlfriend, instead it is cool to walk away from such a relationship when it breaks down".

Ruth murdered her boyfriend using a kitchen knife in September 2015.

In mitigation last week, Ruth told the court she has reformed since staying in remanded two years and nine months ago, and that she is remorseful.

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Her lawyer Joyner Okonjo said Ruth is now a devout Muslim and has been attending a course in theology for the past one year.

Ms Okonjo added that her client engaged in various activities at the Lang’ata Women Prison, which led to her crowning as Miss Lang’ata beauty in 2016.


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The lawyer argued that for one to get such a title factors such as discipline, cooperation with the authorities and commitment to reform are considered.

She also said that Ruth had been admitted at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) for a course in Information Technology, but her education was discontinued.

LOVE LETTERS

During sentencing, Justice Lesiit dismissed claims that she acted in self defence.

She said the stab wounds were not consistent with her allegations that her former boyfriend had pinned her down as they fought, observing that the wounds were inflicted at intervals and not by a person in a lying position.

The night before the incident, the court heard that she found his old love letters and questioned Farid why he was still holding onto them.

He allegedly ignored her and went to sleep only for her to rekindle the conversation the following morning.

When neighbours tried to respond to his distress call, they found the door was locked.

UNREMORSEFUL

Begging for leniency, Ms Okonjo enumerated some of Ruth's achievements: acquiring of five certificates, participating in modelling, dancing, poetry and scriptwriting.

But State Counsel Evelyn Wanunga said Ruth is not penitent, and should therefore be handed the death sentence so that it can be a deterrence.

Credit: The BBC