• Kyodo

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The Nagoya High Court on Thursday upheld a lower court sentence of life imprisonment imposed on a convicted murderer, dismissing prosecutors’ appeal for the death penalty.

The court upheld the life sentence imposed by the Nagoya District Court on Kazuo Nakayama, 40, who was convicted of murdering the owner of a camera shop and his wife in Nagoya in 1996.

Nakayama intruded into the condominium of Hirohiko Yokoi, 70, and his wife, Takako, 66, on July 26, 1996, stabbed the couple to death and stole 100,000 yen, according to the district court.

Nakayama’s lawyers claimed he was under the influence of stimulants at the time and could not be held fully responsible.

The district court on April 18, 2001, sentenced Nakayama to life imprisonment, saying he had diminished responsibility under the effects of the drug. Three psychiatric tests were conducted during the trial. Judge Nobuaki Horiuchi noted the irrational behavior of the defendant, such as jumping from the roof of the seven-story condo to an adjacent building while carrying a heavy bag, and said it could not be helped but to recognize that he was under the influence of drugs at the time.

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