An Eldoret court has directed that two individuals, including a boda boda operator, suspected in the murder of Kenyan-born Ugandan runner Benjamin Kiplagat, undergo a mental assessment before entering a plea.
Mental Fitness Evaluation: Deputy High Court Registrar Rosemary Onkoba ordered the suspects, David Ekai alias Timo, 25, and Peter Khalumi, 30, to be escorted to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital for a mental evaluation to determine their fitness for trial. “The court deems it necessary to ascertain the mental state of the accused before proceeding further,” stated Onkoba.
Remand and Upcoming Hearing: Following the assessment, the suspects will be held at Eldoret GK remand prison until their next appearance before the duty Judge on January 31, 2024, where they are expected to be formally charged with murder.
Gruesome Crime and Motive: The tragic incident occurred on the eve of New Year when Kiplagat was found fatally stabbed in his car near Eldoret. Investigations suggest a robbery motive, as money and a cellphone were reportedly stolen from the victim.
Pattern of Athlete Murders: Kiplagat’s murder raises concerns about the safety of athletes in the region. He is the fourth athlete to be killed in the area in recent years, joining Agnes Tirop, Damaris Muthee, and Rubayit Siragi.
Justice Sought: While investigations are ongoing and suspects await trial, the local community and athletic world mourn the loss of Kiplagat and call for justice to be served.