Leonard Thuo Mwithiga allegedly spent multiple cab rides telling the driver he wanted to harm his wife
The Kenyan man in Connecticut reportedly once had his wife locked up in a mental institution after she tried to escape him has now been accused of trying to hire a hitman to have her killed.
Connecticut State Police charged Leonard Thuo Mwithiga, 52, on Tuesday after he spent multiple Uber rides between Sept. 9 and Dec. 1 talking to the driver about his wife, who he called “evil.”
The driver, who is referred to as a confidential informant (CI), began recording conversations with the suspect, originally from Kenya, after he started booking rides via text instead of the Uber app and talked about wanting to harm his wife.
On one trip in Putnam on Nov. 3, he asked the driver to take him to a residence to look for his wife and kids.
“During this trip, Mwithiga asked [the witness] if he knew anyone who could ‘hit’ his wife, that he wanted someone to ‘finish her,’” according to court documents.
Mwithiga then told the driver on Dec. 1 that he wanted to find a hitman who could inject his wife “with something to make her very sick, ‘like a cancer.’”
The CI then went to the police, who set up a State Trooper as the “hitman.” He allegedly told the undercover trooper that he wanted the hit carried out in January when he would be in Kenya and wouldn’t be seen as a suspect.
The plan was for the hitman to take the victim out on a date and do drugs with her, ensuring she took pure fentanyl.
An undercover state trooper posed as the “hitman,” who was supposed to take the victim on a date and drug her, court documents state.
Mwithiga said he wanted the death to happen between Jan. 28, 2024 and Feb. 3, 2024, when he would be in Kenya and would not be a suspect, according to court records.
Mwithiga was arrested and charged with criminal attempt/intimidation of a witness, conspiracy to commit murder and criminal attempt, murder with special circumstances.
Mwithiga, who has been staying at a Putnam hotel for the last month while he addresses legal matters, left his job in June and was planning to return to Kenya on Thursday, according to statements made in court.
Officers then arrested Mwithiga, and he appeared in court on Tuesday. His bond was set at $5 million, as he is seen as a flight risk.
The victim told investigators that she had been in a relationship with the suspect for 22 years in Kenya and had fled to the United States with her children in September 2022. She said the man had threatened to kill her and their children at least once and was abusive.
“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,’” documents said.
“Once Victim #1 was released from the hospital, Mwithiga apologized for sending her to the hospital, and they reconciled.”
The abuse did not stop, however, with the victim saying she had to hide knives from Mwithig after he threatened her and their daughter with a knife.
In September 2023, she reportedly discovered that he had filed a court case to send the children back to Kenya.
Mwithiga is charged with criminal attempt murder with special circumstances, conspiracy, and witness intimidation.