TOKYO (TR) – A court here has handed a 32-year-old woman a prison term of five years over a fatal crash she caused after using stimulant drugs, reports TBS News (Mar. 15).
At the Tokyo District Court on Monday, presiding judge Eiichi Fukano said that Marisa Nakagawa, a bar employee, bears “heavy criminal liability” for her crimes.
“The defendant came up with unreasonable excuses from beginning to end in not trying to face up to her actions and responsibilities,” said judge Fukano.
On the afternoon of May 20, officers in a patrol car attempted to question Nakagawa after she was observed behaving suspiciously in Shinagawa Ward. However, she sped off in her white Mercedes-AMG SL 63.
The prosecution said that during the subsequent chase Nakagawa’s vehicle reached a top speed of 121 kilometers per hour.
In Ota Ward, about 850 meters from where the pursuit began, Nakagawa lost control and drove up onto a sidewalk where she fatally struck Yu Takahashi, a 34-year-old company employee.
Officers apprehended Nakagawa shortly after she tried to flee the scene. She was later accused of involuntary manslaughter, hit-and-run and using kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs.
“A man living with the defendant injected her with stimulant drugs”
During the trial, the defendant admitted to being behind the wheel of the car that hit and killed Takahashi.
However, she denied using stimulant drugs at some point beforehand. “I do not recall [the matter],” she told the court.
In stating its case, the prosecution said, “A glass pipe was found hidden in your underwear. As well, an analysis of your urine gave a positive result for stimulant drugs.”
The defense responded, “The day before [the incident], a man living with the defendant injected her with stimulant drugs while she slept.”
Judge Fukano did not acknowledge the claim of the defense regarding her having been injected. “[The defendant’s] DNA was extracted from the part of the glass pipe used to inhale,” the judge said.