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VIDEO: Kenyan who killed an American woman in Tacoma car crash suffered from schizophrenia – Lawyer

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Kenyan born Win Gikonyo has pleaded insanity in a case where she has been charged with vehicular homicide in Tacoma, Washington.

Ms Gikonyo, 26, is said to have crashed her car into a Toyota Prius belonging to Ms Marianne Burton.

My client was suffering from hallucinations when she crashed her new Hyundai Elantra into 60-year-old Marianne Burton’s Toyota Prius, defense attorney Michael Stewart told the court.

“She was hearing voices shouting commands in her ear,” Stewart said. “… She felt that she could communicate with the traffic lights.”

Gikonyo wrote in a declaration filed with the court that she understands her plea means the court could hospitalize her indefinitely if she’s found to be a substantial danger to herself or others. She also understands that if the court finds she is not a substantial danger, it could put conditions on her release — including prohibiting her from driving.

A report filed by a psychologist at Western State Hospital this month diagnosed Gikonyo with “unspecified schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorder” and found her to be a low risk to re-offend or exhibit dangerous behavior.

Blood tests showed Gikonyo wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol when she drove more than 100 miles per hour, tried to pass two cars, then hit Burton’s car April 18, 2018 near 84th Street and McKinley Avenue.

Burton died at the scene.

Win Gikonyo appeared in Pierce County Superior Court, with her attorney Michael Stewart, right. Gikonyo pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to vehicular homicide for the Tacoma crash that killed Marianne Burton

Her family was not happy with the resolution of the case.

Her daughter, Amber Falaschi, told the court Tuesday that she doesn’t believe Gikonyo was insane at the time of the wreck. She argued that Gikonyo had held a job and bought a car — “things that insane people don’t generally do.”

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“She stole my mother’s life from everyone who knew her,” Falaschi said.

Members of the family of the crash victim. PHOTO I SCREENSHOT

Burton’s son, James Burton, told the court by phone that his mother had been less than two years from retirement when she died.

“My mother was robbed of her hard-earned retirement and her life,” he said.

Burton cleaned houses a few days a week and had been working at a pizza shop, according to News Tribune archives.

Her family said Burton was beloved by her cleaning clients and pizza shop coworkers, to whom she was a sort of store mom.

She was making a pizza delivery at the time of the crash.

Stewart read a letter that Gikonyo wrote in which she apologized to Burton’s family and said she hoped they could forgive her one day.

“I just want to tell you how sorry I am,” it read in part. “… Please know it was an accident.”

He said Gikonyo had moved out of her mother’s home before the wreck and isolated herself. Her mother didn’t know where she was for several months.

Charging papers said Gikonyo started rolling in the street as officers tried to speak with her after the wreck, and that at various points she hissed, spat and pretended to be dead.

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“She was suffering from hallucinations and is not legally responsible for her actions at the time,” Stewart said of the crash.

She underwent treatment at Western State and is responding very well to medication now, he said.

Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson acknowledged that Tuesday was tough for Burton’s family.

“I know that this is not cathartic, that this is unsatisfying,” he told them. “… to lose a parent is terrible.”

When it comes to convicting someone of a crime, Cuthbertson told the family, a judge has to look at the act and the mental state of a defendant.

“You have to have both,” he said. “This is a classic case of when that comes into play.”

He noted that Gikonyo doesn’t have any criminal history.

The judge also said that she has prior hospitalizations for mental health treatment and for some reason discontinued her medication in the past.

“I’m concerned about her going off the medication, because this can’t happen again,” Cuthbertson said.

He ordered her held without bail pending a hearing in two weeks to discuss what mental health treatment Gikonyo will get going forward.

2018 Reporting: Woman accused of fatal wreck hissed, rolled in street and said ‘life goes on,’ charges say

A woman accused of causing a fatal crash in Tacoma rolled in the street, pretended to be dead in the ambulance and told police “Life goes on” after the wreck, records show.

Win Gikonyo, 25, was charged Friday with vehicular homicide for the death of Marianne Burton, 60. She is expected to appear in court this afternoon.

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Burton died Wednesday after Gikonyo tried to pass two cars on McKinley Avenue East while traveling more than 100 mph and slammed into Burton’s Toyota Prius, police said.

Nobody witnessed the collision but a passerby stopped moments later and found the Prius on a sidewalk near 84th Street East. The driver’s door was too damaged to open and debris was spread across the street.

Burton was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gikonyo was found about 200 feet south outside her new Hyundai Elantra, which lost both passenger side tires in the collision.

A witness told police Gikonyo sped past her just before the crash and veered into oncoming traffic to go around slower vehicles in the southbound lane.

When officers tried to speak to Gikonyo, she allegedly fell to her stomach, insisted on sitting on a tree branch rather than the curb and began rolling in the street.

She also rolled around in the back of the patrol car, hissing and spitting, according to charging papers.

Police came to draw blood later to see if she was under the influence and Gikonyo “laid on the gurney, rigid, and pretended to be dead,” records show.

She did not respond to questions and signed the wrong name when she was booked into Pierce County Jail.

When corrections officers asked if she understood another driver had been killed in the crash, she told them “Life goes on,” documents show.

 

– AGENCIES

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Diaspora

Joy in the Diaspora as Matiang’i extends e-passport deadline

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Kenyans in the Diaspora have taken to social media to thank the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government for extending the deadline for the migration to the new generation chip-enabled passports.

In a statement released on Monday, February 24, the ministry headed by Dr Fred Matiang’i announced that it had extended the deadline by 12 months and set March 1, 2021 as the new compliance date.

“The government is progressively phasing out the old, ordinary passports as part of Kenya’s commitment to migrate to the new passports with ICAO specifications,” said Matiang’i.

“However, we note with concern that 1.8 million Kenyans, mostly in the diaspora, are yet to replace their old passports with the East African Community biometrics e-passports,” he added

“Due to this, the government hereby extends the deadline for voiding the current dark blue machine-readable passport by 12 months. As such, its holders may continue using it until March 1, 2021, when it will no longer be valid for traveling,” the Ministry statement read in part.

The statement further noted that the Ministry  had set up six other centers in the diaspora, with three in Europe (Berlin, Paris, and London) and one in the US (Washington DC).

READ ALSO:   74 year old Kenyan man deported after living in US for 42 years ponders his next move at JKIA

The government has also set up a center in Johannesburg, South Africa and Dubai to facilitate the new passport measures.

“Thank you Matiang’i, Wrote John Njoroge.

“Ungekuwa karibu ningekubuiya kiruru,” tweeted Joe Karis.

Wambuijoan wrote: “That is why I love Jubilee Government. Inatupeaga deadline halafu inaongeza, Hata uchaguzi wa 2017 tulifanya twice.”

Before Monday’s announcement, long queues were being witnessed at various embassies, High Commissions and consulates as Kenyans in the Diaspora sought to beat the earlier deadline

The ministry also  announced that in an effort to rationalize the issuance of the e-passports, it has set up and operationalized four passport control centers across the country.

The four centers, they announced, were located in Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret, and Embu.

Image
People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.
People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.

Mr Matiang’i called upon all those who were yet to convert their old passports as earlier urged to take advantage of the new extensions to fulfill the requirements.

“Considering this is the second extension, the 1.8 million Kenyans still holding the dark blue passport are urged to take full advantage of the period to acquire the EAC-format electronic passports as early as possible.

“They should do this to avoid a last-minute rush, unnecessary jam-ups at the centers and traveling inconveniences,” the statement reads.

READ ALSO:   US government releases the number of Kenyans sworn in as Citizens last year - 2,685

Matiang’i also  announced thathe government will ensure that  same-day issuance of passports became a reality by July 1, 2020.

Here is the full statement:

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

 

So what is an e-passport?

An e-Passport contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. An e-Passport also contains a biometric identifier.

For instance, the United States requires that the chip contain a digital photograph of the holder.

U.S. e-Passport Requirements

The United States requires that travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have an e-Passport if their passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006. Additional information on VWP e-Passport requirements.

All e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries and the United States have security features to prevent the unauthorized reading or “skimming” of data stored on the e-Passport chip.

The inspection process for an e-Passport holder is the same as that for a non-e-Passport holder. When arriving at U.S. ports of entry, e-Passport holders will be directed by signage or personnel on the appropriate U.S. Customs and Border Protection booth to use.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: New song Warns Kenyan women who disrespect their husbands in the Diaspora

Benefits of an e-Passport

E-Passports help to

  • securely identify the traveler,
  • provide protection against identity theft,
  • protect privacy and
  • make it difficult to alter a document for use in gaining admission to the United States.

The biographic and biometric data contained in the electronic chip can be compared to both the traveler and the travel document being presented. There are multiple layers of security in the e-Passport process that prevent duplication.

International Cooperation

The United States and its VWP partners have worked together through extensive testing to identify a technology solution to support the production of e-Passports and e-Passport readers. Successful testing in the United States and overseas has been an important step forward in a larger, comprehensive effort to enhance security and facilitate legitimate travel and trade through international cooperation.

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Did you miss Peter Ng’ethe’s Funeral Service in Atlanta? Here it is

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A funeral Service for the late Peter Ng’ethe was held at Christ Harvesters Global Outreach Church on Saturday. The late Ng’ethe  was set to be buried on Saturday Feb 22, 2020 at Kennesaw Memorial Park in Marietta, Georgia Address1306 Whitlock Ave NW, Marietta, GA 30064 at 1.30PM.

On Friday Feb 21 2020, a wake in his honor at West Cobb Funeral Home between 5pm and 7pm. Address: 2480 Mcland Rd, Marietta, GA, 30064

Mr Ng’ethe passed away on Feb 1st, 2020.

He was a dear Husband to Serah Ng’ethe (Mama Njoki)
Father to Njoki Mwangi, John Njoroge and Makena Njoki.

May He Rest in Peace. Watch:

 

 

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Diaspora returnee who holds dual Citizenship (US & Kenya) grilled by Parliament after Uhuru nominates her as ambassador
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Diaspora

VIDEO: Joy as 84 year-old Kenyan man who has lived in US for 60 yrs returns home to a rousing welcome [PHOTOS]

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BY CHRISTINE MUCHENE

A journey that started in March last year is now complete. Mr. James Mugweru has finally arrived in his motherland, Kenya, after 6 dacades in the United States.

It was pomp and colour as family and friends  gathered in Nakuru to welcome him with a very warm and rousing reception.
Mugweru, 84, came to the US through the famous educational air lift organized by the late Tom Mboya in 1959.He had only returned to Kenya twice in those 60 years he has been in the US.

Around March last year, I was approached by a young man in Kenya to help trace his grandfather whom they had never seen but would hear from stories that he lived in America.

It however did not take me long to fish him out of where he was, thanks to internet.

He was living in a facility for Senior Citizens in Union city, Georgia.

I thereafter introduced him to my Church family – Kenyan American Community Church (KACC) – and they contributed money for his ticket to Kenya.

Mugweru left the country on February 19th.

I would like to thank all those who have walked this one year journey with him providing the much needed stuff and above all, loving him as Christ would do.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: You won't be taxed if you haven't been in Kenya for at least 183 cumulative days in one year, KRA tells Diasporians

He has always been intrigued by the concern some of you have shown.

Mr. Mugweru has 2 living siblings aged 100 and 80 who were eager and looking forward to reuniting with their lost brother.
Finally thank you Atlanta Kenyan community for believing in my Judgment towards serving God’s people. Without all of you, I would not be of help to the community. God bless.

We do hope that he will come back to visit as you all know that after having lost reality with a country he left long time ago, it can be rough especially in old age and the most needed health care can be out of reach due to lack of money.

This man has been away for too long and those back home could be having high expectation of him and if the same is not there, the happiness may just be temporary leading to abandonment.

He left Kenya undeveloped and the whole country will appear strange not to mention the culture shock.

We, all the same, hope that God will guide him.  To the great people who have given him great love, God bless all.

Chances are he will come back as he cannot fit in Kenya after even loosing his mother tongue and cannot fluently speak Kiswahili which is also forgotten.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: New song Warns Kenyan women who disrespect their husbands in the Diaspora

It is not easy for James as this is simply a very sad case and maybe a lesson for many, to be prepared and able to face the uncertain, unknown future.

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