Kenyan court sentences three to death for 2009 murder of Irish priest
KERICHO, Kenya – A Kericho court has sentenced three people to death for the 2009 murder of Irish Kiltegan Father Jeremiah Roche.
The three men – Isaac Kipng’etich Bett, Jackson Cheruiyot Koskei and Joshua Maranga Makori – were convicted of robbery with violence against the priest, who was killed in his parish in Keongo.
During their investigation, police discovered that a laptop computer, two mobile phones and other electronic devices valued at more than $3,000 were stolen during the crime.
Chief Magistrate Hedwig Ong’undi sentenced two other men to 14 years in prison with hard labor for possession of stolen property and acquitted four other suspects who were facing similar charges.
Ong’undi said that, two weeks after the priest was found dead, police found pants with Father Roche’s blood hidden under Makori’s mattress.
Father Roche, 68, a member of the St. Patrick Missionary Society, had ministered in Kenya for 41 years and was involved in numerous projects, including the construction of churches and schools in the Kericho Diocese.