LUSAKA High Court judge Sharon Newa has convicted and sentenced former BancABC employee Precious Longwe to death by hanging for shooting dead her husband Akakanda Lubinda Liteebele last May.
And Precious, 31, appeared not to be moved by the verdict as she looked composed even after the judge slapped a death sentence on her.
She did not shed a tear as most female murder suspects do when convicted.
However, her relatives wailed after the judge handed down the sentence.
In her judgment delivered today, judge Newa found Precious guilty of murder saying she had no excuse to put up because she killed her husband in cold blood.
Precious had denied the charge in her plea but 12 prosecution witnesses testified against her.
And judge Newa said the convict had intention to kill as could be seen from the text message that she sent to him following a dispute on the material day, which read: “Anyway, you will pay for this Lubinda!!!”
Judge Newa dismissed Longwe’s defence that the gun the couple were struggling for fired on its own.
She said it was clear from the evidence by the ballistic expert that the type of the gun that was used in the shooting was a semi-automatic weapon, which could not fire without being triggered.
“She was not in eminent danger of being shot. If there was indeed struggle for the gun, the pictures should have shown and there is no evidence to show that the deceased had intention to kill; he could have been in the sitting room watching television out of frustration,” she said.
On the issue of provocation, judge Newa said the messages that the deceased sent to Longwe were not provocative.
She also said the evidence by the defence that the accused was intoxicated failed.
Judge Newa established that there was no evidence to show the amount of alcohol that Precious took that night.
She said Precious recounted everything that happened on the material day as she managed to check on the baby when she returned home and that she also recognised her brother in-law’s vehicle parked in the yard.
“There is no evidence to show that the accused was drunk to an extent of staggering, or failing to respond to questions while she was with friends,” judge Newa observed.
She further established that the couple led a life of partying and drinking.
Judge Newa said gender based violence should not be tolerated but that in this case, there was insufficient evidence to show that the violence by the deceased in the past culminated in the shooting.
Precious’ lawyer Orsbone Ngoma in mitigation asked the judge to consider the alcohol factor that led to the murder but judge Newa ruled out the mitigation saying there was no excuse.
In her defence, Longwe told the court that her husband was shot accidentally in the struggle for the gun.
She said the gun fired without her pulling the trigger because it was not her intention to kill her husband.
Precious also told the court that her husband was a violent man who beat her most of the time they had an argument.
In her written submissions, Precious stated that she was provoked by the messages that her husband sent to her after he left Chez Ntemba night club where he said he had called her parents to inform them that she had refused to go home.