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Suspects in Ugandan athlete murder to undergo mental assessment


Two people suspected of killing a Kenyan-born Ugandan athlete, Benjamin Kiplagat, will be subjected to mental assessment, before taking plea for murder.

An Eldoret Court ordered the suspects, David Ekai, alias Timo, aged 25 years, and Peter Khalumi, 30 be escorted to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), for mental assessment to establish their mental state.

Eldoret Deputy High Court Registrar, Rosemary Onkoba, ordered that the suspects should be escorted by the police to MTRH for mental assessment, to establish whether they are fit to undergo trial.

She directed that the two suspects should be held at the Eldoret GK Remand Prison, pending their appearance before the duty Judge on January 31, 2024, where they are set to be charged with murder.

The two suspects, one of whom is a boda boda operator, were arrested in connection with the gruesome murder of the athlete, who was found fatally stabbed in his car in Kimumu Estate along Eldoret-Iten highway in Uasin Gishu County, on the eve of New Year.

Police officers recovered a knife at the scene of the incident, that is suspected to have been used in the killing of the 34-year-old runner.

Security agencies indicate that the motive of the incident appeared to have been a robbery, since the suspects were said to have stolen money and a cell phone from the deceased.

The slain runner hailed from Elgeyo Marakwet County and is the fourth athlete to be murdered in the region.

Among those who have lost their lives include two-time cross-country World Champion, Agnes Tirop, who was killed in her Iten townhouse three years ago by her estranged husband, Ibrahim Rotich, who has since been charged with murder but is out on a Ksh 400,000 Cash Bail after denying the murder charge. The case is before Justice Robert Wanada of Eldoret High Court.

Others are Kenyan-born-Bahrain athlete, Damaris Muthee, whose decomposing body was found at her male Ethiopian runner’s house two years ago. The main suspect in the case has since fled the country.

In August, another runner from Rwanda, Rubayit Siragi, was killed in Iten town in what the police believe was a fight with another Kenyan runner over a love triangle.