Kenyan in Boston imprisoned for life, Family in mixed Emotions
Margaret Kinyanjui, extreme left, and her mother, second right, together with two friends sit outside the Essex Superior court in Lawrence, Mass. as they await the jury verdict at the conclusion of a trial for the murder of Esther Kinyanjui, who was their sister and daughter respectively. H.Maina/Ajabu
By Rogers Muyanja and Harrison Maina, Ajabu Africa News
LAWRENCE, Mass. , JUNE 23_Patrick Waweru 31, a father of two, will spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and a mother to his children, Esther Kinyanjui.
In a sentence that was passed by Justice Richard E. Welch III at the Essex Superior Court on Tuesday, Waweru was found guilty of first degree murder, armed assault with intent to murder, home invasion, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, as well as wanton and reckless child endangerment.
The sentence left the family of the deceased with mixed emotions.
He was acquitted him on a second count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
After spending life behind bars, Waweru will also serve 20 to 22 years on the home invasion count, 10 to 15 years on the armed assault with intent to murder, another eight to 10 years on the assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and a year in the House of Corrections for child endangerment. However all these sentences will run simultaneously together with the 20- to 22-year prison term, instead of one after the other.
During the full jury trial that lasted for 5 days since last week for the murder that that took place around October 2007, Esther’s mother, Ruth Wambui Nyamu 57, narrated how Waweru stormed the house by use of force hitting her daughter with a piece of wood on the head before Nyamu and her grand children.
“I tried in vain to save my girl but he was overpowered me then he grabbed a knife and started cutting her like a goat” Nyamu stated in one of the proceedings of court amidst sobs and breakdowns.
She said that she had just arrived in the US from Kenya to see her newborn, second grand daughter according to the African traditions. She then decided to help baby sit the two girls for a few months before she returned home, as the couple went to work. However, in the course of living with the couple, she could tell that things were not working very well between them.
“They were not getting along very well and I was worried”, Nyamu told the jury.
Then at some point, the court heard that the couple separated and then Nyamu , her daughter, Esther and the two grand daughters moved to Delaware where Esther had found a new nursing job.
Assistant District Attorney Kate B. MacDougall from the Essex County District Attorney’s office said that Waweru convinced Esther to travel to Massachusetts from Delaware by telling her there was a court hearing she must attend, and had a clear plan on how to kill Esther.
The family of the deceased outside the Essex superior court in Lawrence Mass. On the left is Margaret Kinyanjui, the sister, Ruth Nyamu, the mother and a brother, Samuel Kinyanjui.
Continuing with her testimony, Esther’s mother said that “It was on Monday evening just a few minutes after she’d come back from meeting Waweru that we heard Waweru knocking on the door asking us to open”.
“Moments later, he forcefully got his way inside hitting Esther’s sister Margaret on the head. Margaret took off with one of my older grand daughters leaving me, Esther and the other child before Waweru.” The mother to the deceased explained in court.
It was at this point that Waweru hit Esther on the head with the piece of wood. She fell on the floor, he bent and picked a knife from his stockings and stabbed her many times in the back, neck, chest, back and arms, then slit her throat the neck, the court heard.
Nyamu’s voice broke with emotion and wiped tears when she was shown the blood stained piece of wood that Waweru had used during the grisly attack.
As this was happening, a neighbor living in an upstairs apartment heard screams and commotion, and upon going downstairs to investigate, he met the deceased’s sister, Margaret, who had a big gash at the top of her head that was inflicted by Waweru.
“I rushed back upstairs and called 911, and even before I could return downstairs, the police had arrived”, said the witness.
After the killing, Waweru took off to his East Lynn apartment, where he attempted suicide by overdosing on medication before police arrested him and brought him to the Union Hospital in Lynn for emergency treatment.
Waweru’s defense lawyer Russell C. Sobelman said his client had mental health issues dating back in 2002 which led him to commit the crime.
While delivering the sentence, after the jury of 6 women and 7 men reached a verdict after a few hours of deliberation, Justice Welch III said that no amount of aggravation is ever enough to cause someone to murder the other.
Asked if he would like to say anything to the family of the deceased after the sentencing, Waweru said he had no comment to make.
The deceased family, including the mother, the sister and a brother, Samuel Kinyanjui, said they were relived that some justice had been done even if they would not get their loved one back. A last born brother, Charles Kinyanjui, who lives in Seattle, Washington, did not make it to the trial.
“There is nothing that can repay the loss of our sister, but i feel relieved that justice has been served. I feel safe now”, said Margaret Kinyanjui, sister to the deceased, who testified during the trial.
The deceased mother, Nyamu, was overcome with emotion after the sentencing, crying and sobbing.
“I think the judgment was fair, even though I will never see my daughter again”, said Nyamu. “But I cried a lot for Waweru when I realized that his life is also just like gone, yet he was the only living biological father to my grandchildren. Now they will never get see any of their parents”, she added
The court also heard that Waweru is due back in court next week for a DUI charge that he was about to face just days before he committed the murder in 2007.
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