• "What do you think the baby did and how did it react on that fateful day hearing the voice and screams of the mother?”

Expectant Sharon Otieno
Image: Courtesy

The unborn child Sharon Otieno was carrying when she was murdered in 2018 suffered stab wounds on its upper belly, a court heard Monday. 

Migori Governor Okoth Obado, who is a suspect in Sharon's murder and the father of the child, watched as the images were shown in court. 

Obado is also accused of the murder of Sharon's baby.

He has been charged alongside Micheal Oyamo and Caspal Obiero. The three are accused of committing the murder on the night of September 3, 2018, at Owade, Homa Bay county.

The images of Sharon's body were projected on a TV screen in court.

One image after the other, Obado’s concentration shifted. He would be seen scrolling through his phone as government pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor shared his postmortem examination findings.

At the time Sharon was killed, she had suffered seven stab wounds and two slash wounds. The first stab wound was so severe that it went through her womb. This led to the death of the unborn baby, 12 weeks shy of the birthdate. 

In her opening statement, assistant director of public prosecutions Catherine Mwaniki said Sharon’s murder is a puzzle but with the evidence obtained, their witnesses will create a complete picture of what transpired prior to and after the murder. 

She said the prosecution team will demonstrate to the court how Obado and his co-accused created the opportunity, facilitated the crime, orchestrated the deliberate cover-up of the murders and how they willfully engaged in actions aimed at obstructing justice.

Sharon met Obado in November 2017. She was a student at Rongo University at the time. Obado, being the Migori governor, Mwaniki said, was very influential and had the capability to improve the circumstances of Sharon’s life.

“My lady, I want to invite the court and all of us to reflect on our time during campus days. It’s a youthful stage where one is learning about the world. It’s a stage filled with possibilities of what one can do or be and at some point make good choices but also make mistakes,” Mwaniki said.

The prosecutor said she will not shy away from demonstrating who Sharon was. The beautiful vibrant lady, as described by Mwaniki left behind three children.

 “She got her children at a very tender age. She pushed herself to survive as a mother of three, wife and student to ensure basic needs were provided for and met,” Mwaniki said.

 With respect to the unborn baby, Mwaniki said it had very high chances of surviving. 

"We will be asking this court, what do you think the baby did and how did it react on that fateful day hearing the voice and screams of the mother?”

Ultimately, the prosecution will adduce evidence to demonstrate that the beneficiary of Sharon’s death was Obado as he was the father of the unborn child.

And to do this, Mwaniki presented her first witness, Government pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor.  

Dr Oduor, after a thorough examination, formed the opinion that the baby died because of sharp abdominal trauma. Sharon, on the other hand, died out of a severe haemorrhage due to penetrating force trauma. 

The stab wounds were on her neck, stomach, and back. There were also multiple abrasions distributed on her upper and lower limbs. Sharon also had a butterfly tattoo on the right side forearm.

“At the time of examining her body, her back had turned extremely black. This is because the body had decomposed. She was also pale, which indicates there was a significant loss of blood. Fats attached to her intestines were also hanging out,” Dr Oduor testified. 

To disabuse the notion of murder in respect to the unborn child, Obado’s lawyer Kioko Kilukumi during cross-examination tried to gather from Oduor whether the killing of a foetus in a uterus amounts to the crime of murder. 

“I would not know. Those are questions of law,” Oduor replied.

He, however, mentioned that the foetus is fully dependent on the mother once it is in the uterus. It does not have a separate existence, he said.

Oduor also said it was necessary for him to take a vaginal swab and DNA analysis to establish an occurrence of a sexual encounter between Sharon and probably the person who was with her last.

The hearing continues on Tuesday.