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Ex-priest not prosecuted over killing of wife, son; deemed not of sound mind

HOKKAIDO (TR) – Prosecutors have announced the non-prosecution of a former priest who was accused of killing his wife and son and mutilating their corpses at their residence in Sapporo earlier this year. Prosecutors deemed him of unsound mind, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 7).

On August 25, Masahito Nagaoka, 60, visited a police station in Toyohira Ward to report that the bodies of two relatives were in his residence. “I came to pay for the crime,” he added.

Officers arriving at the building found the bodies of Nagaoka’s wife, 58, and son, 19, with stab wounds in the bathroom. The results of autopsies revealed that both persons died due to suffocation, police said at the time.

The heads of the corpses had been removed with a knife. It is believed the bodies were mutilated after death, police said at the time.

Masahito Nagaoka
Masahito Nagaoka (Twitter)

Police subsequently accused Nagaoka of murder and abandoning and destruction of a corpse.

During the investigation, Nagaoka provided police with incomprehensible statements. “As a result of job stress, I couldn’t sleep,” he said. “Due to a chronic disease in my lower back, I could not sit seiza-style” — on the knees with feet tucked under the thighs — “and my work suffered.”

Regarding a motive, Nagaoka mentioned that “enlightenment opened” before him.

Over a two-month period ending November 29, prosecutors conducted an examination to determine whether Nagaoka had the mental capability to be be held criminally responsible in the case.

On Friday, prosecutors revealed at the Sapporo District Court that Nagaoka was deemed to have been of an unsound mind at the time of the incident and was not criminally liable. They also ordered that he be hospitalized.