Free lifer on DNA evidence: lawyer

Kyodo News

A lawyer representing a man serving a life sentence for the 1990 murder of a 4-year-old girl said Monday he will ask prosecutors to release him because a DNA test indicates he may not be the culprit.

A DNA sample taken from Toshikazu Sugaya, 62, did not match dried bodily fluid found on the victim’s clothing, unlike an earlier finding. The latest results could lead to a retrial of the high-profile case.

Sugaya was quoted as telling the lawyer, Hiroshi Sato, Monday at the prison, “Fellow inmates and prison guards were surprised with the news about the new DNA test and told me, ‘It’s great.’ “

Sugaya, who is in Chiba Prison, was arrested in 1991 for kidnapping and killing the girl in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, in 1990. He initially confessed to killing her but later withdrew the confession.