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Death penalty sought for former Tottori hostess Miyuki Ueta in serial murder case

Miyuki Ueta
Miyuki Ueta

TOTTORI (TR) – On Monday, closing arguments from prosecutors requested the death penalty in the serial-murder trial of Miyuki Ueta, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Nov. 5).

Ueta, 38, a former bar hostess from Tottori Prefecture, is accused of murder and robbery over two suspicious deaths dating to 2009. The defense will read its closing arguments on Tuesday. A verdict from presiding judge Takushi Noguchi is expected on December 4.

“Only the defendant had the opportunity to commit these murders,” said the prosecution in their closing statement in the Tottori District Court.

Kazumi Yabe, a 47-year-old truck driver, died in a drowning at sea in April 2009. Electrician Hideki Maruyama, 57, was found beaten and face down in the Mani River in October of that same year, with the case initially being ruled as a suicide by Tottori prefectural police.

The defendant was indicted on 16 counts of charges, which in addition to murder include theft of property worth 9.22 million yen.

Prosecutors argued that the Ueta put her victims to sleep with drug-filled concoctions just before their deaths. Her motive was said to be to escape from debts.

At the opening of the trial in September, Ueta denied the murder allegations, saying that a 48-year-old former car salesperson she living with at the time perpetrated the crimes. She, however, remained silent when asked to provide reasonable evidence to support her claims.