TOKYO (TR) – An editor at publisher Kodansha accused of fatally strangling his wife three years ago pleaded innocent at the opening of his trial on Tuesday, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 19).
At the Tokyo District Court, Park Jung-hyun, the former editor of the popular manga “Attack on Titan,” said, “I did not kill my wife.”
According to the prosecution, Park, 43, fatally strangled his wife, 38-year-old Kanako, at the residence they shared in Bunkyo Ward early on August 9, 2016. “[The defendant] suddenly embraced murderous intentions upon becoming dissatisfied with Kanako’s housework and childcare,” the prosecution said.
The defense countered by saying that Kanako “committed suicide.”
In January, 2017, police arrested Park on suspicion of murder, which he denied.
Investigative sources later revealed that Kanako consulted with the local ward office about abuse by Park one year after the birth of their first son.
Pressure applied around the neck
At around 2:50 a.m. on the day of the incident, Park telephoned emergency services to report that his “wife had collapsed.” Officers arriving at the residence found Kanako lying face-up at the base of a staircase.
She was confirmed dead about one hour later at a nearby hospital. An autopsy later revealed the cause of death to be suffocation due to pressure applied around the neck, police said at the time of Park’s arrest.
In addition to his wife, Park lived in the residence with his four children. During initial questioning, he claimed that his wife “fell down the stairs.” However, he later changed his story, saying she took her own life by hanging herself with his jacket on the railing of the stairs.
In explaining the change to his story at the time of questioning, the defense told the court that Park could not “say to his children that [their mother] committed suicide.”
Park joined Kodansha in 1999. The defendant was the editor in charge of the manga “Attack on Titan” upon its launch in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine in 2009. In June of 2016, he moved to the editorial department for Weekly Morning.