Man appeals to high court over death sentencefor triple murder
December, 18, 2010
A 22-year-old man who was sentenced to death earlier this month for killing his wife, baby and mother-in-law appealed the ruling to the Fukuoka High Court’s Miyazaki branch on Friday, his defense counsel said.
In the Dec 7 ruling in the citizen-judge trial, the Miyazaki District Court handed down a sentence of capital punishment to Akihiro Okumoto, determining that the defendant’s action was self-centered and cruel as he took the victims’ lives simply because he was annoyed by his mother-in-law’s scolding and wanted to live alone and free to do as he pleased.
According to the ruling, Okumoto strangled his 5-month-old son Yuto and killed his 24-year-old wife Kumiko and her 50-year-old mother, Takako Ikegami, using a kitchen knife and a hammer in Miyazaki on March 1 this year. He buried the boy’s body in a nearby yard.
Man sentenced to death penalty for murder of wife, baby, mother-in-law
(Mainichi Japan) December 7, 2010
MIYAZAKI (Kyodo) -- A 22-year-old man was sentenced to death Tuesday for killing his wife, baby and mother-in-law in the city of Miyazaki earlier this year, the third capital sentence given under the lay judge trial system that began last year.
Giving the ruling to Akihiro Okumoto, Presiding Judge Masayoshi Takahara at the Miyazaki District Court said the defendant "took the lives of the three because of his selfish desire to live self-indulgently and alone after being reprimanded by his mother-in-law."
The crime was "cold-blooded and atrocious" and its consequence was "too grave," Takahara said.
As Okumoto admitted to killing his wife Kumiko, 24, their 5-month-old son Yuto and Kumiko's mother Takako Ikegami, 50, in Miyazaki on March 1, the focus was on the severity of the sentence given by the panel of six citizen and three professional judges.
Prosecutors had sought capital punishment, saying the crime was "one of the most heinous cases involving members of the same family," while the defense counsel sought leniency by arguing the defendant regrets what he did and can be rehabilitated.
According to the ruling, Okumoto strangled the baby boy around 5 a.m. on March 1 and killed his wife and her mother using a kitchen knife and a hammer, respectively, and then buried the boy's body in a nearby yard.
Death penalty sought for man over murder of wife, baby, mother-in-law
(Mainichi Japan) November 26, 2010
Tokyo (Kyodo) -- Prosecutors called for the death penalty in a trial Thursday for a 22-year-old man charged with the murder of his wife, baby and mother-in-law at home in Miyazaki, southwestern Japan, in March.
As Akihiro Okumoto has admitted to killing his wife Kumiko, 24, their 5-month-old son Yuto and Kumiko's mother Takako Ikegami, 50, the issue is whether the panel of six citizen and three professional judges will hand down a death sentence in a ruling on Dec. 7 as demanded by the prosecutors.
It is the fifth time in a citizen judge trial that the death penalty is being sought.
The defendant "decided to take the lives of the three people because of his selfish desire to live self-indulgently," the prosecutors said in their closing arguments, adding the crime was "cold-blooded, relentless and atrocious."
They also said it was "one of the most heinous cases involving members of the same family."
Okumoto has said he will accept any sentence. But his lawyers called on the lay judge panel not to issue a death sentence, saying the defendant regrets what he did and can be rehabilitated.
Okumoto strangled the baby boy around 5 a.m. on March 1 and killed his wife and her mother using a kitchen knife and a hammer, respectively, and then buried the boy's body in a nearby materials yard, according to the indictment.