"The young boy watched as his parents argued and Randi Huntley tried to defend herself with a sledgehammer, which Mwangi then grabbed and used to bludgeon her, Fenton said."
"Mwangi stabbed Huntley five times, including twice in the heart, Fenton said. He then hopped into his car and drove over Huntley in the driveway as their son watched."http://www.eagletribune.com/latestnews/x1315241187/Man-sentenced-in-Danville-murder
June 7, 2011
BRENTWOOD Jackson Mwangi, 29, will likely spent most, if not all, of his life behind bars for the murder of his estranged girlfriend.
Mwangi pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death June 1, 2010, of Randi Huntley, the mother of his then 4-year-old son. In exchange, Mwangi was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison
Mwangi was convicted of bludgeoning, stabbing and then driving over his ex-girlfriend, 25, at 67 Cobbler's Ridge in Danville on his 28th birthday.
By making the plea agreement, Mwangi avoided a potential life sentence on a first-degree murder charge.
Nearly 40 of Huntley's friends and relatives, many in tears, packed the courtroom as Rockingham Superior Court Judge Tina Nadeau sentenced Mwangi on a single count of second-degree murder.
Mwangi, wearing a bright orange prison jumpsuit, sat quietly and looked down as Huntley's mother and two sisters gave lengthy statements, saying they could never forgive him.
"Jackson, I hate you for what you did to my family," said Andrea Huntley, the victim's sister. "You're a despicable excuse for a human being."
She broke down while addressing Mwangi as did her mother, Mary Huntley, and younger sister, Elizabeth Huntley.
"You are selfish and a coward," Andrea Huntley said. "I sincerely hope you rot in hell."
She was preceded by her mother, who said 5-year-old Jaden asks her about his mother every day.
"Jackson, you have no idea what you have done to me and my family," Mary Huntley said. "You took a mother away from her son, a son she loved more than life itself."
Jaden has needed extensive counseling ever since Mwangi showed up at Randi Huntley's home shortly before 4 p.m. that day after buying a knife, BB gun, duct tape and other items at two Walmart stores, prosecutor Diana Fenton said.
She said Mwangi killed Huntley because he was jealous when she began dating other people.
Mwangi, who admitted in court he was taking medication for depression, told investigators after his arrest he wanted Huntley to "feel the pain" he felt, Fenton said.
The young boy watched as his parents argued and Randi Huntley tried to defend herself with a sledgehammer, which Mwangi then grabbed and used to bludgeon her, Fenton said.
Mwangi stabbed Huntley five times, including twice in the heart, Fenton said. He then hopped into his car and drove over Huntley in the driveway as their son watched.
"No 4-year-old, or a child of any age, should have to watch his father murder his mother," Mary Huntley said.
Mwangi drove off, leaving his son behind, Fenton said. Huntley was taken to Parkland Medical Center in Derry, but later died.
Mwangi was arrested later that night on the side of Route 101 in Exeter, about 15 miles away. He had tried to kill himself twice after attacking Huntley, first by tying a zip strip around his neck, then by trying to drown himself in a body of water beside the highway, according to court documents.
Mary Huntley said she wanted Mwangi to receive a life sentence, but the plea deal was the only way to spare young Jaden from testifying.
Elizabeth Huntley said her family took Mwangi in when no one else would.
"You repaid us by maliciously murdering my sister," she said. "You will rot in hell for what you have done. She did not deserve this, but you will get what you deserve I promise that."
Nadeau told the family she empathized with them for what they had been through and hoped they would heal over time.
"You need to know forgiveness is not required or entitled under these circumstances," she said.
Nadeau ordered Mwangi to pay $5,500 in restitution.
Fenton said Mwangi's sentence was fair because he accepted responsibility for Huntley's murder and her family did not want to put 5-year-old Jaden through the pain of testifying.
"He acknowledged responsibility and there was a small child who was a witness in this case," Fenton said. "Forty years to life is appropriate for what the defendant did."
Mwangi, represented by attorneys Adam Bernstein and Rusty Chadwick, has been held at the Rockingham County jail since his arrest. He will serve his sentence in the state prison.