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Woman deemed fit for trial in ’08 Higashimurayama murder

Shoko Kikuchi
Shoko Kikuchi (TV Asahi)

TOKYO (TR) – A 60-year-old woman whose mental state was called into question upon her arrest earlier this year over the killing of her neighbor in Higashimurayama City nearly a decade has been deemed fit for trial, prosecutors have revealed, reports Sankei Shimbun (July 14).

In April, police arrested Shoko Kikuchi after the results of a DNA analysis of material found under the fingernails of the victim, 73-year-old Kimiko Tejima, proved to be a match for the suspect.

Given that Kikuchi exhibited problems with her speech and conduct during questioning, police spent a two-month period assessing her criminal liability in the case. On Friday, the branch of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office in Tachikawa City prosecuted Kichuchi for murder.

Victim stabbed in neck and abdomen

Kikuchi lives next door to the apartment of the victim, located in the Honcho area of Higash-Murayama. On October 8, 2008, the defendant allegedly stabbed the neck and abdomen of Tejima inside the victim’s apartment.

Kikuchi, who has been charged with murder, admitted to the allegations upon her arrest. “Miss Tejima and I were not acquaintances,” she said. “I just wanted to kill someone.”

Police had previously conducted a DNA analysis in the case. However, another test whose results provided the match was conducted in June of last year.