Man in court after lover found naked, dead in living room


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They were for five years considered by their neighbours at the sprawling Pipeline estate in Nairobi as the perfect couple.

They were always together even when doing routine things like buying milk at the shop downstairs or waiting for sukuma wiki to be chopped at a stall on the ground floor of their apartment.

On Sunday morning, however, neighbours were woken up by screams from B13, the house where Mr James Wambugu, 34, and Grace Kagure, 29, lived.

“I am being killed!” She screamed repeatedly.

It was between 6am and 7am.

Mr Joseph Rateng who lives next door says the screams were sudden and loud. When neighbours responded, they found the steel door locked from inside but Ms Kagure was still screaming. Then she stopped.

“The door was still locked and a crowd had already gathered. People were threatening to force the door open if he was not going to do it,” recalled Mr Rateng.

By chance, it happened that one window pane had not been locked from the inside. This gave the neighbours a chance to peep inside after they had been denied entry.

“The lady was on the floor naked with blood oozing from several parts. James was also naked standing beside her with a knife in his hands,” he said.

“When he saw us he rushed to the bedroom and came back fully dressed and opened the door,” said Mr Rateng.

A nurse who lives in the apartment was called to confirm if Ms Kagure was still alive. She had already died. The one-bedroom apartment had just turned into a murder scene and the two love birds had suddenly changed to victim and suspected killer.

It took the efforts of Nyumba Kumi representatives who rushed to the scene to save Mr Wambugu from a crowd that was baying for his blood.

Yesterday, police presented him before Makadara Law Courts and asked for permission to detain him as they completed investigations.

Chief magistrate Heston Nyaga agreed that it was necessary to continue holding the suspect as he is being investigated for a capital offence.

“The court notes that this is a murder investigation. As such, the State needs time to conduct proper investigations. I grant the request sought,” said Mr Nyaga as he allowed the police to detain the suspect for 15 more days.

In seeking more time, the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), stated in court papers that the postmortem examination had not been conducted to establish the cause of death. Additionally the DCI said photographs from the crime scene were not yet ready, and witness statements were yet to be collected.

Results from a postmortem examination, which was supposed to be conducted on Monday afternoon are yet to be released. It would also take police at least a week to firm-up their case before charging the suspect with murder and probably over a year for the court to make a decision.

Neighbours who saw Ms Kagure’s body say she had more than 20 stab wounds including one in her forehead and two on both sides of the neck. She also had a number of wounds on her abdomen and chest.

“Even if you want to kill someone you don’t stab her the number of times Grace was. I think the devil has taken over this country,” said one neighbour.

A Mr Samuel Munene, who says he knows the couple, said on Facebook that he was together with the two on Friday and “didn’t notice anything.”

Their neighbours in Pipeline say they saw the two leave together on Saturday evening at 10pm, most likely for a night out like they had always done and were in high spirits.

Ms Kagure’s sister who had come visiting the day before had left their house about 30 minutes before the incident. The couple were both naked when the neighbours first responded, meaning that the matter could have started in the bedroom.

Their sitting room had signs of a struggle. The coffee table which had drops of blood had been pushed next to the wall unit.

Two seats were blocking the only exit from the sitting room apart from the main door. Everything else was in place.

Police sources told the Nation that Mr Wambugu claimed he only stabbed Ms Kagure twice and it was in self defence. He also claimed that he had no romantic relationship with her and that she was a stranger in his house.

Neighbours, however, told us that Wambugu had no physical marks when they arrested him. There was also a photo of Ms Kagure who had arrived on Friday from Meru where she works as a nurse on one of the walls.


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