Supreme Court of Japan

08 July 2024 :

A 39-year-old man was sentenced to death on July 2, 2024 for murdering an elderly woman and her son and robbing them at her residence in Oita Prefecture, southwestern Japan, in 2020.
During the trial at the Oita District Court, prosecutors sought the death penalty for Shoichi Sato, presenting evidence including DNA from the trunk of Sato's car that matched the female victim, Takako Yamana.
Sato's defense team, maintaining his innocence, said it filed an appeal with the Fukuoka High Court the same day.
In handing down the ruling, Presiding Judge Yasutaka Karashima said, "There is no reasonable explanation other than the convict committed the crime."
Footprints left at the crime scene matched the shape of Sato's feet as well, the judge also said.
In its closing argument, the defense pointed out that the analysis of bloodstains found in Sato's car revealed a DNA type that did not match either the two victims or Sato, insisting that someone else committed the crime.
According to the ruling, Sato fatally stabbed Yamana, a 79-year-old farmer, and her 51-year-old son Hiroyuki, a postal worker, multiple times on Feb. 2, 2020, at the house in Usa, stealing at least 54,000 yen ($330).
Police arrested Sato about a year and eight months after the incident.


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