Court orders Benjamin Kiplagat murder suspects to undergo mental health tests

ATHLETICS Court orders Benjamin Kiplagat murder suspects to undergo mental health tests

Festus Chuma 06:00 - 25.01.2024

Eldoret Court orders mental evaluations for suspects in the murder of renowned athlete Benjamin Kiplagat before plea proceedings.

A high court in Eldoret has taken a significant step in a gripping murder case involving the tragic demise of Kenyan-born Ugandan athlete Benjamin Kiplagat.

In a session charged with solemnity and the pursuit of justice, Senior Resident Magistrate Rosemary Onkoba decreed that the suspects, Ushuru Khalumi and David Ekai Lokero must undergo mental health evaluations before they can enter their pleas.

The order came amidst a tense atmosphere, as the community and the sports world alike await justice for the untimely loss of the Kenya-born athlete.

“Since the suspects already have a pro bono lawyer, I directed the lawyer together with the prosecution to work together in ensuring that they are taken to hospital for mental assessment,” ordered Ms Onkoba as per Nation.

The charge sheet accuses Khalumi and Lokero of the joint murder of Benjamin Kiplagat on New Year's Eve, an event that has left the community and sports enthusiasts in shock and mourning.

The incident, which took place at Kimumu estate on the outskirts of Eldoret town, led to swift action by the police, culminating in the arrest of the prime suspects on January 1.

The steeplechaser who represented Uganda at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, competed in the Shanghai Samsung Diamond League, and participated in the Hengelo Fanny Blankers-Koen Games, among other events.

The case will proceed on January 31 to determine whether the suspects are mentally fit to stand trial. 

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