FUKUOKA (TR) – The wife of a married couple tied to three murder cases and numerous missing persons, whose husband admitted to grinding up the bones of multiple corpses, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday.
The Fukuoka District Court handed down a 30-year prison term to Chisa Nakao, 47, for the murders of the 4-year-old son of her 36-year-old sister Sakae Hiyamizu, Sakae’s husband Hiyamizu, 34, and Takashi Hidaka, 22, a former employee of a used goods shop run by Chisa’s husband, Shinya Nakao, the Mainichi Shimbun reports (June 24).
Presiding judge Koji Hiratsuka ruled that Chisa conspired with her husband Shinya on three counts of bodily injury resulting in death.
“Three people, including an infant, were led to their gruesome deaths in what is a serious result,” Hiratsuka said.
Shinya is set to stand trial on Monday.
Dearth of solid evidence
The prosecution was seeking a life sentence in Chisa’s case, where the bone of contention was whether she had colluded with her husband Shinya, according to the Sankei Shimbun, because of what the Yomiuri Shimbun reported was a “dearth of solid evidence.”
Prosecutors claimed the couple murdered Hidaka to cover up how they beat his 19-year-old male colleague to death, but Hiratsuka rejected the argument and said the couple didn’t kill him to silence him because of their actions after the incident that “contradicted a cover-up attempt, for example by going out to commercial establishments together.”
“Nothing suggests severe violence was inflicted with the intent to kill, and it can be said that the aim was to repeatedly inflict pain,” Hiratsuka said, but agreed on a charge of bodily injury resulting in death over the couple conspiring over Hidaka’s death from repeated violent assault.
Hiratsuka said the couple also conspired over bodily injury resulting in the deaths of Chisa’s brother-in-law Hiyamizu and his eldest 4-year-old son Daito, even if the couple had not carried out assault that directly led to their deaths.
He said, she said
Chisa pled not guilty to the charges of conspiracy and murderous intent, with her defense saying: “All of the cases were caused by Shinya flying into a rage. Defendant Chisa never carried out nor gave any instructions to carry out violent assaults that would kill the three individuals.”
Prosecutors argued that “Chisa instructed her husband to murder the employees using relentless assault.” Shinya had testified that the “violent assaults were ordered by my wife.”
The prosecution built their case around the violence and abuse inflicted on the three victims who were killed, using Shinya’s testimony and statements gathered from the questioning of 24 witnesses who were former colleagues and employees.
Prosecutors told the court that Chisa was conspiring to murder Hidaka because she “continued to abuse him knowing the high risks that he could die, which is a clear show of intent to commit murder.”
“Chisa is trying to pin the blame on her husband without a shred of atonement on her part,” prosecutors said in their closing statement.
The defense argued that the ׅ“defendant had no motivation to carry out assault, and the husband’s testimony has some unusual points rendering it unreliable.”
The defense admitted that Chisa administered corporal punishment as a form of “discipline,” but denied charges of intent to commit murder and complicity. Chisa hence pled not guilty on charges of bodily injury resulting in death and murder.
According to the ruling, Chisa conspired with Shinya to assault and kill a former male employee in June 2004 and assault and murder Hiyamizu and his son Daito in September and October of 2006.
Chisa admitted she stole ¥530,000 in cash from an ATM by forging three bank cards in the name of an acquaintance between 2007 and 2013. Previous reports suggested Shinya was plagued with massive debt mostly stemming from gambling.