KANAGAWA (TR) – The Yokohama District Court on Thursday handed a 40-year-old man a 17-year prison term over the murder of a beautician at her home in Sagamihara City two years ago, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 20).
According to the ruling, Toru Murakami used a cord to strangle Kana Ofuji, 23, at her apartment, located in Minami Ward, between the night of June 7, 2016 and the following morning.
“It was a vicious crime in which the intent to kill was strong,” said presiding judge Katayama Katayama in handing down the ruling. “The victim’s dream of being a beautician was ended, along with her life at the young age of 23.”
The prosecution had sought an 18-year term for Murakami.
At the time of the incident, Murakami was in a relationship with Ofuji. The prosecution claimed that the crime took place after problems developed in that relationship.
Following his arrest and during the trial, Murakami denied the charges. However, a DNA analysis conducted on material found on the cord used to strangle Ofuji proved to be a match for Murakami.
During the investigation, police observed that the victim’s apartment showed no signs of forced entry, and the interior did not appear top have been disturbed. Police then concluded that the crime was carried out by an acquaintance.