N.J. Kenyan woman sentenced to hang in husband’s murder has teaching license suspended
A woman who was convicted of murdering her husband in Kenya three years ago apparently has ties to the Garden State.
Sheila Wanjiku Kibinge, known also as Sheila Kairu, was convicted in July of the murder of Leonard Kibinge Kiruri in Gitaru village on April 14, 2014, and later sentenced to death by hanging, according to the Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation.
Wanjiku Kibinge, who currently holds certificates for elementary education, physical science and as a supervisor in New Jersey, told the state Board of Examiners she had been charged with murder but pleaded not guilty.
Wanjiku Kibinge, who has a residence in Maplewood, told the teachers’ licensing board she’d been traveling at night with her husband when they were carjacked and he was murdered. The board voted to suspend her teaching licenses in July pending the outcome of the charges against her, which was formally adopted on Sept. 15.
According to the Daily Nation, Wanjiku Kibinge, who was described as a university lecturer based in the United States and a PhD student, allegedly killed her husband in a dispute over family property
While no direct evidence or weapon linked Wanjiku Kibinge to the crime, circumstantial evidence and inconsistencies in her account led to her conviction in August, with High Court Judge Jessie Lessit rejecting Kibinge’s defense that her husband was killed by kidnappers, Mwakilishi.com, a Kenyan news site, reported.
The news outlet reported that Wanjiku Kibinge testified she walked away after hearing a blast before she and her husband’s car crashed into a fence, and that she didn’t check on her husband after the crash.
She also reportedly went to the police station in Nairobi instead of a closer police station following the incident, and changed her clothes by the time she reported the crime.