A court of appeal in Kisumu has upheld the death sentences of seven men convicted of killing two fishermen in Suba, Homa Bay County in 2010.
The three-judge bench comprising of Justices Asike Makhandia, Otieno Odek and Patrick Kiage on Wednesday ruled that the trial court did not err by convicting the seven and subsequently sentencing them to death.
According to the court, the six suspects namely David Ongata, William Ayugi, Tilleny Odhiambo, Silas Onyango, Tiberius Ododa and Peter Otieno had been handed death penalties by Homa Bay high court after they were found guilty. One unnamed suspect was not available during the trial.
However, the suspects appealed the sentence on six grounds among them being that the High Court failed to consider the evidence they presented in court as their defense and that the sentence was excessive.
They had further claimed that they were innocent and the witnesses who testified against them gave conflicting accounts of the incident.
During the resolution, the appellate judges noted that the appellants failed to prove to the court that the case was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt in the previous trial and the appeal lacked merit.
“15 prosecution witnesses including nine eyewitnesses who testified against them at the lower courts have pointed an accusing finger against them during this trial,” the judges added.
The defendants allegedly murdered Lameck Olima Ochieng and Felix Ouma Odhiambo at Dhogunda beach in Suba, using spears and stones after they declined to handover their night catch and money.