AMAGASAKI, Hyogo Pref. — A homeless man charged with killing one teenager and wounding another in June admitted Wednesday during his first trial at the Amagasaki branch of the Kobe District Court that he assaulted a boy, but denied any intention to kill.
Suemitsu Tanaka, 47, is accused of stabbing to death an 18-year-old boy and wounding a 17-year-old boy on June 13, following months of harassment from gangs of youths.
The defendant and other homeless people who stayed near Naruohama beach in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, had reported being harassed for months by groups of boys who threw concrete blocks, lit cigarettes and other things at their tents.
But according to Tanaka’s lawyer, Sadato Goto, the man intended only to scare the boys.
The cases of harassment by seven boys, including the wounded teenager, had been sent to prosecutors last month, but the boys were not kept in custody.
Juvenile attacks on homeless people have increased in recent years and last month some local residents formed a support group for the homeless involved in the Nishinomiya case.
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