• Kyodo


A 55-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for three counts of attempted murder in connection with a delivery-car robbery last summer.

Susumu Sugiyama was convicted by the Yokohama District Court of masterminding the Aug. 21 robbery, in which he and two other men shot two security guards in the parking lot of the Isezakicho branch of Shonan Shinkin Bank before making off with a duralumin suitcase containing some 10 million yen. The guards were seriously wounded.

Presiding Judge Hiroshi Yamura condemned the daylight attack. He stated that Sugiyama’s criminal responsibility is grave in that his acts were bold and dangerous.

Sugiyama’s lawyer maintained during the trial that the gunshots were aimed at the guards’ shoulders in an effort to deter resistance.

The judge rejected this argument, saying the shots were aimed at their stomachs.

Sugiyama was also convicted of attempted murder in the shooting of a senior underworld figure who forced Sugiyama’s accomplices, 42-year-old Hiroyuki Kobayashi and 28-year-old Takashi Kawada, to turn themselves in to police Aug. 28.

The gangster sustained serious wounds.

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