AICHI (TR) – A court here has sentenced a 79-year-old woman in Toyokawa City to a five-year prison term over the murder of her husband more than two decades ago, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 27).
At the Nagoya District Court on Wednesday, presiding judge Mihoko Tanabe handed down the ruling by describing the actions of Asae Koike as “malignant” and carried out “with a firm intent to kill.”
The prosecution had sought an 8-year term.
On the night of March 20, 1996, Koike used a knife to fatally slash the head of her husband, 59-year-old Takashi, at their residence at the time in the Ushikuboekidori area.
Upon her arrest this past February, Koike admitted to the allegations, saying she was the victim of domestic violence. “He got violent with me,” she was quoted.
After the crime, the defendant sealed the body inside an air-tight bag that was stored inside a clothing case in her residence. The bag was used to restrict the escape of foul odors, police said at the time of her arrest.
Koike then lived with the body in the residence until January, 2017, when she confessed to police. Officers arriving at the residence found skeletal remains that were later confirmed as belonging to Takashi.
According to the results of an autopsy, Takashi died due to shock resulting from loss of blood. The examiner also found about 10 stab wounds to the head.
Police believed that Koike carried out the murder herself. However, it was also believed that members of her family, including her oldest son, who was present upon the arrival of police at the residence last year, assisted in covering up the crime.
Local media reported that Koike told neighbors that her husband had “disappeared” when asked about his whereabouts.
In 2010, the Criminal Procedure Code was amended such that the statute of limitations for murder has been eliminated.