National

Woman gets life term for double murder

Kyodo

A woman was handed a life prison term Monday for her involvement with three other women in the murder of two of their husbands, in 1998 and 1999, for insurance money.

Miyuki Tsutsumi, 44, is the first of the four women to receive a verdict by the Fukuoka District Court in connection with the two murders.

All are former classmates at a nursing school. Prosecutors had demanded capital punishment for Tsutsumi.

The court is expected to issue a ruling Thursday on Kazuko Ikegami, 43, followed by a ruling for Hitomi Ishii, 45, on Aug. 9, and for Junko Yoshida, 45, on Sept. 24.

Prosecutors have also demanded death sentences for Ikegami and Yoshida, and life imprisonment for Ishii.

Yoshida, Tsutsumi and Ikegami are charged with killing Ikegami’s 39-year-old husband in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, in January 1998 by injecting air into his bloodstream. Afterward, they fraudulently received 35 million yen in insurance money over his death, according to prosecutors.

In March 1999, the four women allegedly murdered Ishii’s 44-year-old husband in Okawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, by pouring whiskey into him through a medical tube. They received 33 million yen in insurance money over his death, the prosecutors said.

Tsutsumi’s defense team claimed she was controlled by Yoshida, who prosectors believe was the ringleader in both slayings.

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