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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A descendant of British aristocrats who twice had been accused of murdering locals has died after cardiac arrest, a Kenya hospital official said Wednesday.
The chief executive of MP Shah hospital, Anup Das, announced the death of Lord Delamere's heir Thomas Cholmondeley after he was admitted on Tuesday for an unspecified procedure. The Delamere family is among Kenya's largest landowners and was among the first white settlers in Kenya's Rift Valley, whose freewheeling ways inspired the book "White Mischief."
The 48-year-old Cholmondeley had been accused of killing two Kenyans in separate incidents that stirred fierce resentment over race and land.
In 2005, he claimed self-defense and was cleared without trial in the killing of an undercover wildlife ranger who was arresting Cholmondeley's workers suspected of poaching.
He was then convicted of manslaughter in the 2006 shooting of a black poacher and was jailed for eight months. The judge reduced the charge from murder, saying that Cholmondeley's attempts to give first aid proved that he accidentally shot the poacher when aiming at his dogs.
The cases enraged Kenyans, who said he received special treatment because of his relation to Lord Delamere.
The cases exposed deep tensions about the British presence in Kenya, with many locals resentful that the most precious land was taken over by the British government during colonial times. After independence in 1963, many departing settlers transferred land to Africans, with Britain underwriting some of the costs.
Some settlers, including Cholmondeley's family, kept their land and became Kenyan citizens.
The killings received intense media scrutiny because of Cholmondeley's aristocratic heritage.
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