Former Lotte Marines pitcher Hiroshi Ogawa was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for murdering the housekeeper of the chairman of an industrial waste disposal company he worked for and stealing money from the chairman's home in Saitama Prefecture last November.

The Saitama District Court found Ogawa, 43, guilty of the murder of Kazuko Nishiuchi, 67, and of the theft of 1.75 million yen.

The court said Ogawa, who was deeply in debt, went to the chairman's house in Ageo, Saitama Prefecture, last Nov. 18 and asked the housekeeper to lend him money.

When she refused, Ogawa shoved her, causing her to fall down and lose consciousness.

He then burgled the house and stole the money, put Nishiuchi in a car and drove to a pond in Okegawa, Saitama Prefecture, where he threw her in to drown, the court ruled.

Ogawa joined Lotte in 1985, played until 1992, and served as an assistant coach until 1999.