US university pays Sh16.3 m to man brutally attacked by Kenyan student
A university in the United States has opted for an out-of-court settlement in a lawsuit filed by a man who was beaten unconscious by his Kenyan friend.
Morgan State University will pay Joshua Ceasar, who was attacked by a fellow student, Alexander Kinyua, a sum of US$185,000 (Ksh 16.3M).
In 2012, Kinyua made headlines internationally when he killed 37-year-old Ghanaian, Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, with an axe, before dismembering his body parts.
He also admitted eating his victim’s heart and part of the brain.
Mr Kinyua was out on bail as he waited to go on trial in the Joshua Ceasar case when he committed the bizarre crime.
Mr Ceasar had sued the Maryland based college for negligence, saying that it could have done more to stop the vicious attack which left him visually impaired.
He was beaten with a barbed wire-wrapped bat and left for the dead.
Court documents filed by the plaintiff and seen by the Nation state that the College ignored signs that “Mr Kinyua was violent.”
During a hearing on the matter in Baltimore mid last year, a lawyer for Morgan State, Corlie McCormick, asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit stemming from the beating.
Mr McCormick said the beating was not foreseeable given Kinyua’s past behaviour at the school and noted Kinyua had never assaulted anyone in the past.
But the judge differed with the assertion, saying the University should have known something was “askew” based on Kinyua’s behavior.
Ceasar’s lawyer, Steve Silverman, cited a number of instances of Kinyua’s bizarre behaviour over six months leading up to the beating. He said those should have put the school on notice that Kinyua was violent.
In December 2011, for example, Kinyua punched holes in the walls of a campus computer lab, which led to his dismissal from the college program.
During a campus forum a month later, Kinyua made cryptic comments including a mention of “blood sacrifice.” He also posted bizarre messages on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Videtta Brown said during the hearing that Kinyua engaged in a pattern of behaviour that should have put the school on notice that something was wrong.
“Our history tells us that when we get behavior like this, somebody needs to pay attention,” she said.
Kinyua has already pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible for the attack on Ceasar and Killing the 37 year old Agyei-Kodie and, as a result, has been committed indefinitely to a psychiatric hospital.
“Josh is very pleased to see the case resolved,” his attorney, Steven D. Silverman, told theBaltimore Sun, a local newspaper.
“Testifying publicly at Kinyua’s plea hearing was emotionally difficult for him, and Josh is relieved that he does not have to relive this ordeal, for a third time, at a civil trial,” he added.