CHIBA (TR) – At the Chiba District Court on Monday, prosecutors requested life imprisonment for a defendant in the killing of an 18-year-old girl last year in which she was buried alive, reports TV Asahi (Nov. 21).
Shota Nakano, 21, has been charged with robbery resulting in murder in the killing of 18-year-old Manae Noguchi, a runaway from Funabashi City. “It was a ruthless crime carried out after careful preparation,” the prosecution said in closing arguments. “It was brutality to such a degree that the victim was equivalent to a thing.”
In April of last year, Chiba Prefectural Police found the body of Noguchi buried on a farm in the town of Shibayama. She had been missing for nearly one week.
According to investigators, her mouth had been wrapped with tape and her arms tied. Police later arrested Nakano and Yuki Ide and two minors, who had abducted and beaten the victim before burying her.
The results of an autopsy performed on the corpse of Noguchi revealed the cause of death to be suffocation. The body, which had no external wounds, was discovered at a depth of over one meter. It is believed that she was buried alive.
The defense claimed that Nakano did not plan the crime. “We would like the investigation to take into account how much responsibility can be attributed to the defendant,” the defense said in requesting a definitive prison term.