1.The convict Geoffrey Kipyegon Kibet was charge with the offence of murder. The particulars of the charge were that the accused on the 11th day of March, 2014 at Tulungoi Sub-location in Baringo County, murdered Vincent Cheruiyot Limo.
2.By the judgement delivered on the 20th day of July,2023, the convict was found guilty of the offence of murder contrary to section 203 as read with section 204 of the Penal Code and convicted accordingly.
3.This court called for presentence report to assist in determining appropriate sentence. From the report, the convict is 28 years old and was born in a polygamous with the accused’s mother been the first wife. He sat his KCPE in 2012 and scored 245 points. He joined Athinai secondary school but dropped out of school while in form three due to school fees. He started doing casual jobs and farming at Burioke in his grandfather’s land until the date of his arrest. He is married to one wife and they are blessed with three young children aged 5 years, 2 years and one month.
4.The local administrator stated that there is record of criminality in the family.
5.From the report, the victim’s family members interviewed indicated that the two families had a meeting for reconciliation and resolved to meet again on the way forward. They had earlier stated that they were not aware of what was happening on the matter but after several talks and interviews, they stated that since the accused was a relative, they wanted the family to have a reconciliation and live in harmony as before; they said it has not been easy for the family to accept the reality and it took them time.
6.Community members interviewed described the convict as an upright man who lived a christian life all through. They wondered what could have transpired as he does not indulge in alcohol. They said he has good ties with the community and has never had issues with community members. The family members are ready to support him reform; they said he has very young family which is currently supported by his brother who appear overwhelmed as he has his family also to take care of. His wife who delivered a baby had a month at the time of interview asked for forgiveness on convict’s behalf and urged this court to be lenient and grant him another chance.
7.The view of the local administrator is that the convict can easily reform if given an opportunity; that he has no other criminal record. He confirmed that the accused has a young family with his wife having delivered recently. The probation officer recommended a non-custodial and said the probation off ready to take him through counselling, guide him as he reforms and forge reconciliation. He recommended probation sentence for a period of 3 years.
8.Mr Esikuri holding brief for Kipnyekwei counsel representing the accused mitigated on his behalf and stated that the accused is remorseful, that the incident happened in the heat of the moment and the accused maintains it was not premeditated. He submitted that the accused seeks leniency and that he is a first offender.
9.Counsel proceeded to submit that the convict is only 30 years old, a sole bread winner of the family since his wife is unemployed. That he is blessed with two minor children 4 years and 3 weeks only. Counsel prayed for a non-custodial sentence so that he can be united with the family which is still very young.
10.Ms Ratemo the prosecution counsel, submitted that the accused may be treated as a first offender.
11.The penalty for the offence of murder is death sentence. Mandatory nature of death sentence was however declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Francis Karioko Muruatetu & another v Republic  eKLR. In view of the above, the court has discretion to impose either death sentence or any other lenient sentence depending on circumstances of each case.
12.Having taken into account the circumstances leading to the commission of the offence herein, the mitigation by the accused, the recommendation by the Probation Officer and the fact that the accused is a first offender, I am of the considered opinion that while the accused should be given the opportunity for reconciliation, he also deserves a deterrent sentence; what the accused did was heinous, taking the life of another owing to minor differences is barbaric and unacceptable.
13.I take note of the fact that the victim’s family are agreeable to reconciliation. They are however yet to agree. Having considered the circumstances of the offence, mitigation through defence counsel plus sentiments from the local administration and both family of victim and accused I am inclined to impose a lenient custodial sentence.
Final Orders: -