• Kyodo

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A 25-year-old former nurse who strangled, dismembered and disposed of the body of her colleague in April 2001 was sentenced to 16 years in prison Friday.

The Saitama District Court found Tomoko Kaneda, who was a nurse at the Omiya Red Cross Hospital in Saitama Prefecture, guilty of murdering her colleague and friend Yoshiko Nagata, 23.

Kaneda misused her knowledge as a nurse to dismember her friend’s corpse, prosecutors said in their closing arguments, calling for a prison term of 18 years.

“I am horrified at the coldblooded crime,” presiding Judge Takuichi Kawakami told the court.

However, Kawakami said it was an impulse killing and Kaneda has shown repentance.

On April 1, 2001, Kaneda used a stocking to strangle Nagata after learning that her friend had become close to her ex-boyfriend. The murder occurred in Kaneda’s home.

Kaneda then dragged her friend to the bathroom, where she used a surgical knife and coping saw to dismember the corpse. Kaneda later dumped the remains at garbage sites on four occasions.

Kaneda pleaded guilty to the charges. Her lawyers argued the crime was an impulsive act and pleaded for leniency.

“You robbed your close friend of her life, even though you were holding a job taking care of people’s lives,” the judge told Kaneda as he handed down his ruling. “Think how you can atone” for her death.

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