U.S. murder suspect, held over death of Japanese woman, to be tried on lesser charge


An American man held over the death of a female Japanese acquaintance will not be charged with murder but with abandoning her body.

The Yokohama District Court on Monday heard that the prosecutor in the case against Gregory Gumo, 41, has decided on the lesser charge because the victim may still have been alive when Gumo allegedly dumped her in the sea.

The body of Mariko Akitaya, 42, was found floating in a bay south of Tokyo tied to pieces of concrete. She had been wrapped in a sheet.

Although the prosecutor has not ruled out trying Gumo for murder at a later date, Monday’s move means he is unlikely to face such a charge, a lawyer of the defendant said.

Akitaya was a contract employee from Tokyo’s Meguro Ward.

She was found in Koajiro Bay in Kanagawa Prefecture. Prosecutors believe Gumo dumped her there on July 28 after believing she had died. Her body was found floating 20 to 30 meters offshore the following day.

The prosecutor said traces of a narcotic drug were found in her body, which could have knocked her out when combined with prescription medicines she was taking.

The prosecutor will continue to pursue charges against Gumo for the illegal disposal of a body.

Gumo remained silent when asked to comment on the charges at the hearing Monday. The prosecutor, on the other hand, alleged that the two had trouble in their relationship.

  • Karma Arachnid

    If he wrapped her in a sheet and tied concrete to her while she was alive wouldn’t throwing her in the ocean then still be murder?

    • John Doberman

      It would be. It wouldn’t be abandoning a body if she wasn’t a body yet, and his actions would have caused her death.

  • GBR48

    A pathetic kop-out because he is an American.

  • AmIJustAPessimistOrWhat?

    Gumo trapped the victim with his good looks on a dating site while Gumo was already married with young kids, living on his wife’s money. We can guess the victim believed Gumo’s lies and fell in love with Gumo, possibly becoming pregnant. So Gumo had to kill her to prevent his wife from finding out. And all the -prosecutor- can say is “the two had trouble in their relationship” ??? Isn’t that what the -defense- is supposed to say ?

    I wonder if this is some sort of misguided “exchange” for not convicting Obara of Blackman’s murder. Equal leniency for psychopath misogynist murders regardless of nationality.