Suspected Masindi DHO murderers remanded for third time

All three suspects, including Cherotic, Kipisang, and Namureng, admitted to their involvement in the murder.

By Our Reporter

Masindi: Three prime suspects in connection with the murder of the former acting Masindi district health officer, Dr. Jino Abiriga, have been remanded for the third time.

Betty Cherotich, 31, Namureng Joshua, 36, and Kipsang Martin, 31, appeared before the Masindi magistrate court on Tuesday.

The Masindi Chief Magistrate, Kosia Kasibayo, remanded the trio to Hoima government prisons on allegations of murder.

Aganyira Munanura Arinaitwe, the state prosecutor, however, prayed for adjournment of the case, saying investigations into the matter are still ongoing.

Magistrate Kasibayo therefore adjourned the case to March 5, 2024, for mention.

Between the nights of January 6 and 7, 2024, the trio allegedly unlawfully murdered Dr. Jino Abiriga, contrary to sections 188 and 189 of the penal code act.

Dr. Abiriga’s murder

Facts gathered indicate that the late Dr. Jino Abiriga and Betty Cherotich started staying together as husband and wife in 2019, but it was established that the plot to murder Dr. Jino Abiriga began after his wife, Cherotich Betty, learned about a second relationship her husband had with another woman identified as Atuhura Suzan in Masindi.

Cherotich first hatched a plot to kill Atuhura Suzan, but all the attempts failed. On the 11th of December 2023, Cherotic Betty hired a contract killer, Kipisang Martin, at a cost of 2.5 million Ugandan shillings to eliminate Atuhura Susan.

One week later, on the 18th of December, she sent 500,000 to Kipsang Martin to come and target Atuhura Susan for elimination. However, this plot failed when the intended victim did not appear at the expected location.

After the failed attempt to murder Atuhura, Cherotich shifted and plotted the murder of her husband, whom she accused of the death of their firstborn, the miscarriage of their twins, and for constantly insulting her as a bad performer sexually.

According to the police, Betty Cherotich tasked Kipsang Martin with finding a second person to help her murder her husband, and on December 12, 2023, Kipsang Martin and Namureng Joshua started their plans to kill Dr. Jino Abiriga.

On the 6th of January, around midday, they booked a room at Valentine’s Guest House. So during the night, Cherotich alerted the duo that the husband was deep asleep. They found the gate open, and she led them into the bedroom.

The suspected killers had two golf sticks. So they found that when the victim was asleep, they hit him on the head with the handhoe stick, dragged the body to the floor, and then slit the throat of the late doctor.

The trio then cleaned the crime scene, dressed the deceased in new clothing, and dumped the body 50 meters away, outside the gate.

After the murder, the two male suspects disposed of bloodstained clothes in a pit latrine at Valentine’s guest house, where they had stayed. They left Masindi Municipality on January 7, 2024, at 5:30 a.m. for Bukwo.

Police reconstructed the crime scenes, recovered several exhibits, including the shoes of the deceased with the suspect, the clothes of the suspects, which they had on that day of the murder, and submitted samples for forensic analysis, which they recovered from the Bulyasojo cell.

Police also retrieved the bag from the latrine at Valentine’s Guest House. It had a pillow cover, a moping rug, a work ID for the deceased, and several other bloodstained clothes.

All three suspects, including Cherotic, Kipisang, and Namureng, admitted to their involvement in the murder.

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