The Tokyo District Court on Monday sentenced a man to 13 years in prison for a 1990 murder in Tokyo. He had been indicted just 10 days before the 15-year statute of limitations expired.
Toshio Miki, 57, was found guilty of killing Hideo Shirasaki, 56, on Nov. 12, 1990, by stabbing him with a knife and leaving him on a street in Adachi Ward until a vehicle ran over him. The prosecutors had sought a 15-year sentence.
Presiding Judge Masaaki Kawaguchi said Miki’s act “was malicious . . . he stabbed the victim numerous times and fatally wounded him.”
“He stubbornly denied murdering him during the trial and he gave no apology to the victim. . . . The defendant bears heavy responsibility,” the judge said.
Miki was arrested Oct. 13 and indicted Nov. 2.
During the trial, the defense team sought Miki’s acquittal, saying the DNA analysis that found the blood on the knife to be his was not credible as it was conducted 15 years after the murder.
But the court found Miki guilty of murder, based on his confession to the crime during police interrogation and an eyewitness account, as well as the DNA analysis.
The court used a pretrial procedure introduced last November to speed up the trial. Under the procedure, the points of contention between the defense and the prosecutors were narrowed down to the credibility of the DNA analysis.
The court held hearings for six consecutive business days after the trial started March 9. The hearings concluded March 24.