Kenyan man traveled to U.S. and tried hiring hitman to kill wife: authorities

Francis Akhalbey December 08, 2023
Leonard Thuo Mwithiga is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill his wife -- Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Authorities in Connecticut said a 52-year-old Kenyan man traveled to the United States and tried to hire a hitman to kill his estranged wife after she fled to the country with their children. According to Law & Crime, the accused, identified as Leonard Thuo Mwithiga, previously had his wife locked up in a mental health facility in Kenya when she attempted to flee from him with their children.

After entering the United States, Mwithiga is said to have solicited the services of an Uber driver – also named as confidential informant (CI) in the documents – in his attempt to hire a hit man who could fatally inject his wife with “a cancer”, authorities said. 

Between September 9 and December 1, the Connecticut State Police said the CI rendered services to Mwithiga on several occasions. During the rides, Mwithiga touched on his divorce and described his wife as “evil.” He is said to have also asked the CI to get him a hitman to kill his wife. The 52-year-old also said he preferred the hitman injecting his wife “with something to make her very sick, ‘Like a cancer,’” so that she dies slowly, police said.

“[The witness] stated that eventually, Mwithiga would set up rides via personal text, outside of the ‘Uber’ platform,” police said, adding that the CI started recording conversations during the rides. The recorded conversations included the suspect pondering over “harming his wife.”

During a November 1 trip, the documents stated that Mwithiga told the CI to drive to a home at Thompson, Ct. to “look for his wife and kids,” Law & Crime reported. “During this trip, Mwithiga asked [the witness] if he knew anyone who could ‘hit’ his wife, that he wanted someone to ‘finish her,’” authorities said.

Mwithiga and the CI also met at a motel on December 1. During that meeting, he described his wife as “evil” and also said he was ready to “fight evil with evil.” “Mwithiga asked [the witness] to hire a ‘hitman’ to kill his wife,” the documents stated, adding that Mwithiga reiterated he wanted his wife to die slowly.

Police said Mwithiga handed the CI $100 as payment for “his time” and the two later exchanged messages on WhatsApp. When the CI asked Mwithiga the amount of money he was willing to pay for him to look for a hitman, the defendant “told EDMC CI they could negotiate,” police said.

During an interview with the police, the victim said she and Mwithiga had been together for 22 years in Kenya. But she said she fled with their children in September last year because her husband had been physically abusing her and had also threatened to kill her and their children, Law & Crime reported.

Police said that when the victim attempted to escape the year prior, Mwithiga had her sent to a mental hospital. “Victim #1 attempted to leave the country with her children, but was stopped by police at the airport because Mwithiga had filed a police report. Victim #1 was then committed to a mental health facility by the police at the direction of her husband for being ‘mentally disturbed,’” the documents stated. “Once Victim #1 was released from the hospital, Mwithiga apologized for sending her to the hospital and they reconciled.”

Despite the reconciliation, Mwithiga continued to be physically abusive. The victim and their children ultimately fled.

Mwithiga was ultimately arrested on December 4 after he met with the Uber driver and an undercover agent at the Connecticut motel he was lodging. During the meeting before his eventual arrest, Mwithiga paid the undercover cop and the Uber driver $300 and $100 respectively after they agreed the supposed hitman and his wife would go on a date and make her snort “pure fentanyl” – which would be presented as cocaine, authorities said.

“Mwithiga asked the undercover to research a slow death for Victim #1, but ultimately he agreed that the hitman could kill the victim in any manner,” the documents added.

Mwithiga is said to have told the undercover cop to carry out the hit on his wife between January 28 and February 3 as he would be back in Kenya during that period, per Law & Crime. The suspect also agreed to send the Uber driver $4,000 via Western Union as payment to the hitman after his wife’s death was confirmed.

Mwithiga has since been charged with criminal attempt murder with special circumstances, conspiracy, and witness intimidation. He is being held on a $5,000,000 bond.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 8, 2023


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