The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court in Nyamirambo on Wednesday handed a life sentence to retired military officer, Drake Mugisha, after he was convicted of the murder of his wife, Pastor Maggie Mutesi in September last year.
Mutesi who was 37 at the time of her death, was known for leading monthly prayer meetings at Kigali Serena Hotel.
She was the founder and leader of Heavens Gates Ministries, a Kigali-based Christian ministry.
She was found dead on the couple’s marital bed on September 10, 2017.
Mugisha, 45, retired early last year from Rwanda Defence Forces.
Harrison Mutabazi, the spokesperson for the Judiciary told The New Times that Mugisha, who was not present during the ruling, was also ordered to pay a total of 1 million Rwandan francs to the brother of the deceased who had sued him for damages on behalf of the family.
During the previous proceedings, Mugisha pleaded not guilty but while reading the verdict on Wednesday, the presiding judge said that court premised their decision on their analysis of the autopsy report and witness testimonies.
The autopsy report revealed that Pastor Mutesi did not succumb to any sickness as the husband maintained during his defence, but rather succumbed to strangulation as she had contusion to the left back side of her head and had blood in the brain with two injuries in the head.
The judge also noted that the autopsy report revealed that the deceased had multiple fractures in the neck.
In his defence, Mugisha had contested the autopsy report saying that the deceased’s brother, one Arthur Murara conspired with the medics and some people in police to pin him on the homicide.
Asked about their estranged marriage, Mugisha said that they were just like any other family that has conflicts every now and then.
It was earlier reported that the couple was estranged for about three years during which they even filed for divorce in July 2016 but later reconciled and withdrew the case.
The verdict can be appealed against at the High Court.