A man who once wore confidence on his sleeves and dared to take up some of the toughest cases wore a forlorn look, burgeoned by life. Fate and misfortune had conspired to strike without even a hint of remorse for his age.
Cutting a lonely figure in his hospital room, city lawyer Assa Nyakundi sat inside his hospital room on Wednesday pondering as he has done for the past one month of what awaits what is remained of his life after a bizarre incident where he shot his son dead.
Admitted to the hospital after complaining of high blood pressure soon after the incident slightly over a month ago, Mr Nyakundi is on round-the-clock police guard at The Nairobi Hospital.
Perhaps it is the realization that no matter how long he stay in hospital,the gravity of the matter facing him that could sink him.
“I have never been to a police cell, but if they take me to prison it will not be worse than losing my son in the way it happened,” he told the Nation in his first interview since the incident. “There is nothing more to lose at this point. I have lost everything.”
Two weeks ago, his son Joseph, whom he says he accidentally shot as they drove home from church, was buried in a low-key ceremony at Lang’ata Cemetery in Nairobi.
And on Monday, detectives handed over the lawyer’s medical report to court as ordered 12 days ago by Makadara Senior Principal Magistrate Angelo Kithinji.
The police have also finally managed to record his statement after being unable to do so for weeks over his alleged medical condition.
If the police think he has a case to answer and the Makadara court, after perusing his medical report, says he is fit to stand trial, Mr Nyakundi, who has spent decades defending criminals, will now have to defend himself.
The matter is scheduled to come up again in court on Wednesday next week. “If it turns out there will be a trial, I will defend myself and my lawyers will do their bit because it was an accident. Nothing can change that,” he said.
But it is not just the death of his son at his own hands that worry him- his family is ablaze.
His other son Noah, whom we last saw crying uncontrollably at his brother’s graveside in Lang’ata, has never visited his father in hospital.
Mr Nyakundi on Wednesday said he loved his son and that they were very close.
“Both of us were Arsenal fans and I was trying to teach him some golf. We were preparing to take him abroad to further his studies,” he said.
“A lot of things have been written in the media based on non-facts. Where I live is very open and the Judiciary Training College is on the road to my house, so how is it possible that the shot was fired from outside the car as people claim based on a postmortem report they have not seen?” he asked.
In his initial statement to the police on the of day the shooting, March 17, the lawyer said he was trying to holster his firearm while in his car when he accidentally fired, shooting his 29-year-old son in the chest.
Mr Nyakundi said he was the one driving when the incident happened. He told police that he accidentally pulled the trigger of his Glock pistol, discharging one bullet that hit his son accidentally.
He then rushed him to Aga Khan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
One spent cartridge was found under the mat of the front passenger seat and a bullet head of the same caliber was found inside the boot of the Toyota Axio that the two were traveling in.
Mr Nyakundi on Wednesday refused to talk about what transpired in the car during the short commute from the church on Mombasa Road to his Muthaiga North residence.
“It is still an active investigation, so let us leave that to the correct channels to say what has been found out. With time the truth will come out,” he says.
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