• Kyodo


The Osaka High Court on Friday upheld a life imprisonment sentence handed to a 26-year-old man who robbed and murdered an elderly couple in Kyoto Prefecture two years ago.

Prosecutors, demanding the death penalty, had appealed the January ruling by the Maizuru branch of the Kyoto District Court, which sentenced Hayato Tanaka to life in prison on the grounds that he had not planned to murder the two.

According to Friday’s ruling, Tanaka beat farmer Shunichi Yuri, 81, and his wife, Ume, 80, to death with a baseball bat on the evening of Nov. 13, 2002, after breaking into Yuri’s house in Omiya, Kyoto Prefecture, to steal money.

Tanaka killed the couple because he thought they had noticed him after he made a noise in the house. He then stole about 127,000 yen from the home.

Tanaka robbed the couple because he had lost all his money playing slot machines, and knew that the couple lived alone.

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