TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday handed an 11-year prison term to an editor at publisher Kodansha for the murder of his wife three years ago, reports TV Asahi (Mar. 6).
According to the ruling, Park Jung-hyun, the former editor of the popular manga “Attack on Titan,” fatally strangled his wife, 38-year-old Kanako, at the residence they shared in Bunkyo Ward early on August 9, 2016.
During the trial, the prosecution, which was seeking a 15-year prison term, said that Park acted with “strong intent” to kill his wife. The defense countered by saying that Kanako “committed suicide.” Park said in his defense, “I did not kill my wife.”
In handing down the ruling, the presiding judge described Park’s crime as “malicious” while not acknowledging the claim of suicide, calling it “unrealistic.”
Early on the day of the incident, officers responding to a distress call 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 at the time of Park’s arrest in January, 2017.
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 at a hearing that Park could not “say to his children that [their mother] committed suicide.”
Park joined Kodansha in 1999. He 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.