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Ex-nurse, 33, handed 15-year term for murdering mother, carving up corpse

SHIGA (TR) – A court here on Tuesday handed a 33-year-old former nurse a 15-year prison term over the murder of her mother and destruction of her corpse in Moriyama City two years ago, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 3).

At the Otsu District Court, presiding judge Naoki Onishi said that the crimes of Nozomi Kiryu committed upon her mother, 58-year-old Shinobu, “were brutal and disregarded the dignity of the victim.”

The prosecution had sought a 20-year term.

On January 19 and 20, 2018, Kiryu used an unspecified means to kill her mother at the residence they shared in Moriyama.

That March, a passerby to a riverbed located about 250 meters from the residence discovered a human torso.

Two months later, the results of a DNA analysis confirmed that the torso belonged to Shinobu. At the time of the incident, she was separated from her husband.

Nozomi Kiryu
Nozomi Kiryu (Twitter)

Limbs and head not found

Shinobu’s limbs and head were not found. However, police found traces of her blood in the bathroom of the Moriyama residence. As well, police seized a kitchen knife and several other sharp objects that may have been used in the crime.

Police later arrested Nozomi, who moved to Kusatsu City after the incident, on suspicion of abandoning and destruction of a corpse.

At the opening of her trial that September, she admitted to those allegations.

That same month, police accused her of murder. Later in the trial, she denied that allegation.

“Committed suicide by slashing her own neck”

During the proceedings, the issue of whether the defendant had the mental capacity to be liable for murder was raised.

The defense claimed that Shinobu “committed suicide by slashing her own neck” in seeking an acquittal or suspended prison term. The defense argued that the defendant was not guilty as the crime was carried out while she suffered from a mental disorder.

However, an autopsy specialist said that an examination of the corpse showed no indication that Shinobu had slashed her own neck.

“There is room for sympathy”

In recognizing murder, judge Onishi said that the defendant was motivated by her mother’s refusal to accept her desire to become a nurse.

Regarding the effects of the mental disorder, the judge said the defendant was fully culpable, saying, “It was not to the extent that she was unable to judge right from wrong in that she concealed Shinobu’s body while living a regular life.”

However, he added, “There is room sympathy for her, a person scared by her mother and living a repressed life.”