Japanese eighteen-year-old, Naoichiro William Anzai, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for stabbing seventeen-year-old American, Eddie Allshouse, to death with a replica sword last November at an apartment in Yomitan, Okinawa. Anzai was tried as an adult and convicted of murder by a local district court, though those under the age of twenty are generally considered minors under Japanese law. Ed Allshouse, a U.S. civilian contractor and the father of the victim, said that the family was not satisfied with the length of the sentence handed down by the Naha District Court.
In court Anzai said that it was not his intention to kill Allshouse, but admitted that he stabbed him. According to the evidence, the two boys knew each other, and Allshouse was staying at Anzai’s apartment at the time of the incident. During the night there was apparently some sort of altercation stemming from an alleged sexual assault of another person. Anzai claimed that he became so angry during the exchange that he swung the sword at Allshouse, but that he could not recall actually stabbing him. Due to the prosecution’s testimony about the nature of the wound, the court concluded that Anzai had actually stabbed Allshouse in cold blood as he slept in the apartment. Anzai did call for an ambulance, but Allshouse died at the hospital hours later.
According to the limits on sentencing put in place by the court, Anzai was facing up to ten years, but he will be eligible for early release in just five years with the sentence he received. A Japanese judge said that given Anzai’s background, coming from a broken home and living by himself, he felt that there was some “room for sympathy” for the boy who was only seventeen when he committed the crime. The local, Japanese, American, and military communities were all shocked to hear of the murder. Allshouse had been a popular student at Kadena High School, and was a musician in a rock band, according to information on Facebook. The commander of the Torii Station Army Base was among the hundreds in attendance at his memorial service.
[Via Stars and Stripes]