• Kyodo

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A 43-year-old Hiroshima man was sentenced to death Wednesday for murdering his wife and adopted father for insurance money.

Kiyotaka Oyama, a former company president, fraudulently obtained 73 million yen from life insurance taken out on his wife, Hiromi, 38, and adopted father, Tsutomu, 66, after killing them and making it look like they died in accidents, the Hiroshima District Court said.

Oyama appealed the ruling to the Hiroshima High Court in the afternoon.

According to the ruling, Oyama hit the adopted father in the head with a dumbbell in a Hiroshima parking lot in October 1998. He died three months later, and Oyama got 70 million yen in life insurance money.

In March 2000, Oyama drowned his wife in a bathtub Oyama drowned his wife in a bathtub in their house in Saeki Ward and later obtained 3 million yen in insurance benefits.

Presiding Judge Hiromichi Iwakura endorsed the prosecutors’ theory that Oyama killed his adopted father to obtain the insurance money and use it to pay off debts incurred in a failed business.

During the trial, Oyama pleaded guilty to killing the two but argued he killed the adopted father because they quarreled over ways to liquidate his bankrupt firm, denying that he killed for money.

His lawyers pushed for a life term, rather than capital punishment as demanded by the prosecution.

The prosecutors theorized that Oyama killed his wife after she persisted in asking him how he planned to divide the insurance money from the adopted father’s death.

“The social impact of the crime, in which (Oyama) killed the adopted father and his wife in a coldblooded manner, is grave. Even after careful consideration, capital punishment is unavoidable,” the judge said.

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