Teen in deadly escape bid must go to correctional facility

Kyodo

The Nagoya Family Court ruled Wednesday that a 14-year-old male who broke out of a reformatory in Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture, along with four other youths should be sent to a correctional institution.

Five teenage boys broke out of the Aichi Gakuen reformatory Oct. 4 after four of them allegedly killed an employee on duty to get the victim’s keys.

The youth in Wednesday’s hearing was not involved in the slaying but ran off with the others and received 2,000 yen of money the others stole from the victim, an investigation determined.

Judge Hidenori Kan said the short-sighted, thoughtless acts of the youth were malicious, as he had witnessed what happened but did not think of the seriousness of what transpired.

“The youth placed priority on escaping, because of his selfish attitude that he did not like the way he was being treated at the reformatory,” Kan said.

Of the four youths involved in the murder, the cases of three, aged 14 and 15, have been sent to the Nagoya Family Court. If the court decides to send their cases to prosecutors, they will be the first people under the age of 16 to openly stand trial as adults, as stipulated under the revised Juvenile Law.

The fourth boy, who is 12, has already been sent to another correctional facility.

The four youths staged a fight in the reformatory lounge at around 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 4 to attract the attention of Aichi Gakuen staffer Shigemasa Morino, 34, according to investigators. They then overpowered him, tied him up and strangled him in order to get his keys. After opening a closet with one of the keys, they stole some 50,000 yen and fled.