A 18 year old Romanian was sentenced to life imprisonment after murdering a 22 year old woman in Musashino, Tokyo on February 28, 2013. A jury of lay judges found the minor guilty, and the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court handed down the verdict.
The defendant admitted to killing Arisa Yamada because he needed the money to pay rent. He told the court that he and his 19-year old Japanese friend stabbed Yamada near JR Kichijoji Station and then stole money from her amounting to 10,000 yen (about US$98). But his friend had a different version of the story. He testified against his friend and told the jury that the Romanian suggested killing the woman instead. The Japanese accomplice was already tried last year, and was also sentenced to life in prison. According to the prosecutors, the crime was planned as the pair bought a knife the day before, planning an armed robbery. DNA tests from the Romanian’s gloves matched with Yamada’s, and he was taken into custody. Police also found Yamada’s purse and bank book at the apartment where the Japanese accomplice was staying, which led to his arrest.
Yamada originally came from Aomori Prefecture, but moved to Tokyo to work as a beautician. To support herself through college, she worked during the nights. She was already on her way home from work and had just passed by a convenience store when the two robbers attacked her. Some witnesses saw the two men follow her after she came out of the convenience store. The crime happened around 500 meters away from the JR Kichijoji Station, at around 2:00 AM. The two young men stabbed her twice in the back and on her left wrist. While she made it to the hospital, Yamada lost too much blood beforehand and died. Investigators discovered her empty handbag around 200 meters where the crime happened.
[via Jiji Press]