Late yesterday afternoon, a Lawrence Superior Court jury found Patrick Waweru, 31, of Lynn, guilty of first degree murder. Judge Richard Welch, III, sentenced him to the mandatory term of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate B. MacDougall told the court that Waweru had convinced Esther Kinyanjui, 31, who was the mother of his two children, to return from Delaware, telling her they needed to resolve a court matter.
The evening of the murder, he and Kinyanjui arrived at her sister's 130 Adams Street apartment, where her mother was also present.
The victim went inside, but a few minutes later Waweru kicked in the door and attacked her, stabbing her multiple times in the neck. Kinyanjui's sister and mother suffered numerous injuries unsuccessfully trying to stop the attack. Kinyanjui died a short time later at North Shore Medical Center in Salem.
Waweru, who like Kinyanjui came to America from Kenya, was arrested shortly after the murder, after taking an overdose of pills. He has been in custody since his arrest.
Prosecutor MacDougall praised the work of the Lynn Police department, especially that of the first responders, and State Police detectives assigned to the Office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. She also noted the efforts of HAWC and North Shore Children's Hospital, who cared for the family, particularly the children, after the murder.