Man Convicted of Splashing Acid on Fiancée Convicted of Murder

TUBMANBURG, Bomi − Trial jurors at the 11th Judicial Circuit in Tubmanburg have found Momo Kanneh guilty of murder after he splashed acid on his fiancée, Watta Sheriff, resulting in her death.

The 38-year-old Kanneh, of Lowah Town in Klay District, was indicted in January for the actions, which he allegedly committed after suspecting Sheriff of having an affair.

Kanneh escaped immediately after the incident and went into hiding in Monrovia. He was later arrested by officers of the Liberia National Police and returned to Bomi and charged with aggravated assault.

Due to the intensity of the injury, the victim was transferred to the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia after being initially treated at the Liberia Government Hospital in Tubmanburg. She died a week later and has since been buried.

Following her death, the defendant’s charge was amended by Bomi County Attorney Jumah Karnley to include murder.

Following legal arguments between state lawyers and those representing the defendant, a unanimous guilty verdict was rendered against him by the jurors on June 28.

The lead defense lawyer, Atty. Darley Weah, expressed disappointment in the jurors’ decision, stressing that the state prosecutor paraded witnesses without tangible evidence.

Weah, who is the assigned public defender for Bomi, argued that the charge against her client should have been manslaughter instead of murder.

She argued that a crime of murder can only be committed when there is evidence of the perpetrator bearing malice at full thought for the victim.

“But in this case, the witnesses explained that there was no such time the two people [were] involved in [a] confrontation. They’ve been living in peace and harmony. Now the state is coming up with [the] crime of murder where there was no medical report to prove that it was the acid water that killed the lady,” she said.

“I am disappointed in the jurors’ verdict; I’m hopeful that the judge will reduce the crime to manslaughter.”

She further argued that the defendant and the victim have a daughter together and that in no way he would have any thought of killing the mother of his child. She said her client’s intent, however, was to hurt the man he believed Sherriff had an affair with.

On the other hand, Karnley accepted the jurors’ decision, noting that it represented fair judgment and that justice had been served for the victim and her family.

“The proceeding went well, and we think that justice has been served for the people of Bomi County and for the families who are bereaved. They lost this woman who had a future; her life was cut short simply because the defendant wasted this acid water that resulted in her death. So, I am gratified that justice was served,” he said.

“When you have a case that is so plain, the jurors themselves can see. That is why no jury objected to the ruling.”

A family member of the deceased, Miatta Sheriff, praised the court for the impartial trial, noting that their daughter had been served justice.

Kanneh, the man convicted of murder and aggravated assault, accepted the verdict. However, he said the incident was a mistake and was not meant to harm the victim.

“Yes, I committed the act by wasting the acid, but it was not my intention to harm my own girl. We were living together, but this one A.B. man is what brought this entire problem today,” he explained.

“I am appealing to the family and the court to have mercy on me – at least let the court reduce the sentence for the sake of the child. Who will take care of her if I’m sentenced to 30 or 50 years?”

Kanneh is currently being held at the Tubmanburg Central Prison, awaiting official sentencing.

Featured photo by Richard Williams

Richard Williams

Born in Tubmanburg, Bomi, Richard Williams obtained an associate degree in Business Management from the Bomi County Community College. He has worked in the past as news director for Radio Bomi and currently serves in the same role at Pumah FM.

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