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Kenyan jailed in the US for killing policeman : The Standard



David Njuguna during his sentencing in Worcester Superior Court, USA, on November 21, 2019. [Courtesy]

A 33-year-old Kenyan born man will serve between five and seven years in prison for causing the death of a Massachusetts police officer on March 16, 2016.

David Njuguna was Thursday sentenced after he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, misdemeanour motor vehicle homicide, operating to endanger and driving an uninsured vehicle.
He will serve five to seven years for involuntary manslaughter, two-and-a-half years for motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation, one year for guilty of driving an uninsured motor vehicle and two years for driving to endanger. The sentences will be served concurrently.
His car slammed into the back of the officer’s cruiser which was parked during a traffic stop. According to prosecutors, he was speeding and high on marijuana at the time of the crash.
Local media in Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, reported that Njuguna was sent behind bars after the family of the police officer Thomas Clardy gave emotional victim statements.
The 44-year-old father of seven children died from the impact of the crash. Njuguna in his defence said he had a seizure before the collision.
The Boston Herald indicated he was sentenced ‘after an emotional series of impact statements from Clardy’s wife, children, sister and mother that moved several family members to tears’.
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“Because of a selfish and senseless act, his life was cut short,” the paper quoted Clardy’s wife Reisa, adding, “Our stability, our normalcy, our peace of mind, our strength is no longer here.”
According to CBS Boston, prosecutors had sought that Njuguna be jailed for between 10 and 12 years saying it would reflect the high degree of his recklessness.
Judge Janet Kenton-Walker, however, settled for 5-7 years saying her ruling offered some retribution and some thoughts about rehabilitation.
“I cannot bring you comfort, I cannot bring you peace, I cannot take the day away, I cannot make it right,” the judge said during her ruling that cleared Njuguna off two charges – operating under the influence-manslaughter and felony motor vehicle homicide.
The judge noted that the prosecution did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Njuguna was impaired from marijuana at the time of the crash.
The Massachusetts State Police, where the officer worked, released a statement after the sentencing saying they would have preferred ‘that the law allows for a sentence much more commensurate with the taking of a life under these circumstances’.
“First and foremost, we are painfully cognizant that no sentence can return Trooper Clardy to those who loved him and love him still… As we move forward, we continue to look toward and be guided by Tom’s example as a family man and a Massachusetts State Trooper, and our thoughts and hearts are, as ever, with his loved ones,” Police Superintendent Christopher Mason said in the statement.

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Related Topics
David NjugunaRoa accidentsKenyans in the diasporaMassachusetts

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