Suspect for Zama Killings Pleads Guilty in 1st Hearing

Society

Tokyo, Sept. 30 (Jiji Press)--A 29-year-old suspect for the alleged murders of nine people in Zama in the eastern Japan prefecture of Kanagawa pleaded guilty to the charges against him in court on Wednesday.

"The charges are true," Takahiro Shiraishi said in the first hearing of his lay-judge trial at the Tachikawa branch of Tokyo District Court.

The defense side claimed that Shiraishi should be charged with murders with consent from the victims, for a lighter sentence.

He was in a state of insanity or diminished capacity at the time of the crimes, the defense side said, suggesting that it will argue against Shiraishi's criminal responsibility.

Prosecutors said in the opening statement that around early August 2017, Shiraishi became acquainted with a woman aged 21 at the time via Twitter, where she had expressed her desire to commit suicide.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press