Ex-Japanese Cop Sentenced to Death for Killing Wife, 2 Kids

Society

Fukuoka, Dec. 13 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese district court on Friday sentenced a 41-year-old former police officer to death, as sought by prosecutors, for killing his wife and two children at their home in June 2017.

"There is no margin for clemency, and his actions were extremely malicious," Presiding Judge Toshihiro Shibata at Fukuoka District Court said. The defense side immediately filed an appeal.

The accused, Mitsuru Nakata, has consistently claimed his innocence, saying that the murder charges against him are "completely false." No direct evidence showing Nakata's involvement in the murders has been found.

According to the ruling, Nakata choked his 38-year-old wife, Yukiko, to death on the first floor of their home in the city of Ogori, Fukuoka Prefecture, southwestern Japan, between the late evening of June 5, 2017, and the small hours of the following day. He strangled the couple's nine-year-old son, Ryosuke, an elementary school fourth-grader, and six-year-old daughter, Miyu, a first-grader, with a string-like material in a bedroom on the second floor of the house, the ruling said.

The judge said that Nakata was at his home at the time the murders were committed and that there were no traces of an intruder entering the family's home, rejecting the defense side's claim of an outside killer. The judge recognized that Nakata committed the crime, noting that on his left arm was the wife's DNA, believed to have been left as she struggled against him.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press