Man admits killing Catholic priest Michael Maingi who sodomised him

The Standard [Nairobi, Kenya]

October 21, 2021

By Muriithi Mugo

One of the three suspects in the murder of Father Michael Maingi Kyengo on October 8 at Makima in Embu county has admitted to killing the priest but attributed it to a forced sexual act.

Michael Muthini Mutunga who is charged alongside Kavivya Mwangangi and Solomon Mutava Wambua had earlier denied killing the priest when he was first charged in November 2019.

The three were charged with killing the Catholic priest on the night of October 8 and 9, 2019 at Makima location within Mbeere Sub-county.

When the matter came up for continued hearing, the accused told the court that he wished to change his plea.

Justice Lucy Njuguna convicted the accused and ordered a victim impact report before sentencing. “The accused is convicted on his own plea of guilty”.

In his mitigation submissions to the court, the 26-year-old through his advocate Guantai Kirimi said he acted out of anger and grief in committing the offense.

Kirimi pleaded with the court to take into consideration the reasons given by the accused person as to why he killed the priest.

He submitted that the deceased abused the relationship he had with his client.

“In the book of John 8:32, the Bible says for he shall speak the truth and the truth shall set you free. The prosecution has eloquently set out the facts but failed to explain to the court why there is an ugly site to the church and the clergy that is rarely seen,” Kirimi submitted.

He further submitted that the deceased started grooming the accused person in 2017 when he started paying his school fees and started calling him dear and sweetheart.

The accused also submitted that the deceased had sodomised him twice, infected him with a sexually transmitted disease and wanted to kill him when he threatened to open up to the church, which would have portrayed a bad picture and affected his work as a priest.

“We pray for mercy from this court, and also ask the court to exercise discretion, sentence the 1st accused to a non-punitive sentence.

Indeed he has wronged, has accepted that he wronged, took the law into his own hands and I urge the court to give the accused a chance to reform his life which has been altered and not ruined yet,” Kirimi submitted.

The state counsel leading the prosecution submitted that the accused had no other criminal record and he should be taken as a first offender.

The 43-year-old priest had disappeared from his parent’s Tala home in Matungulu, Machakos County on October 5, only for his body to be found on October 16 in a shallow grave in the bed of a seasonal river in Mbeere South sub-county, Embu.