Alex Kinyua, 22, entered the plea to first-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie last year. The former Morgan State University student spoke softly as he responded to questions from the judge, saying he had agreed to the plea and medications he had been taking were helping him. He declined an opportunity to address the court.
(According to The Los Alamos Monitor, Kinyua attended a Los Alamos National Laboratory symposium in the summer of 2011.
(A LANL statement issued in 2012 said: “We can confirm that Alexander Kinyua was a student here last summer. He held no security clearance and worked in our Design Engineering organization in leased space downtown, outside the main lab campus. He had no access to classified or otherwise sensitive material. He left in good standing at the end of the summer.”)
Judge Stephen Waldron said he had concerns about agreeing to the plea, but had to accept determinations by psychiatrists for the defense and prosecution that Kinyua could not be held criminally responsible. He expressed condolences to family and friends of the Agyei-Kodie.
“My heart breaks for you,” Waldron said. “I am very, very sorry.”
Kinyua has been held at the state’s maximum-security psychiatric hospital and returned there after the hearing.
Kinyua, a U.S. citizen originally from Kenya, admitted using a knife to kill and carve up Agyei-Kodie before eating his organs, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office said when Kinyua was arrested last year. Agyei-Kodie, a native of Ghana, had been staying with the Kinyua family for about six weeks at their townhouse in a Baltimore suburb when he disappeared in May 2012. His body was found four days later.
Authorities say Kinyua ranted about “human sacrifices” on Facebook before the slaying.
In a separate case, Kinyua pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible in a baseball bat attack at Morgan State days before the killing of Agyei-Kodie. The man injured in that attack is suing the university, accusing it of ignoring signs that Kinyua was violent.
Kinyua’s father is a physics professor at Morgan State.