• Kyodo

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The Chiba District Court on Thursday sentenced a 35-year-old man to life imprisonment for fatally stabbing a police officer and injuring another after breaking through an inspection gate at Narita airport with his car last November.

Presiding Judge Masataka Yamaguchi said in handing down the ruling that Takuya Nakamura can be held criminally responsible because his acts and thoughts at the time of the incident were rational.

At issue was whether Nakamura was competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors had demanded life in prison for Nakamura, but his defense lawyers called for an acquittal or leniency, arguing the defendant had shown signs of abnormal behavior for several years and suffered from a form of schizophrenia.

Nakamura “made detailed and accurate confessions so he was not suffering from schizophrenia,” Yamaguchi said.

The judge added that the crime was prompted by his self-centered way of life.

On Nov. 8, 2005, Inspector Tadashi Ishizuka died and Sgt. Toshihiro Hayashi was injured after being stabbed by Nakamura, the indictment says.

When Nakamura was questioned in his car by an officer at the inspection gate just before 3 p.m., the officer found he didn’t have a driver’s license, the police said.

After the officer called for help, Nakamura drove onto the airport premises, pursued by Ishizuka and another officer who were in a police car.

Nakamura then broke through an exit gate at the airport in an attempt to flee and backed his car into the police vehicle, the police said. He then drove off and abandoned the car in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture.

After being chased by police officers from the airport police station and Sakura police station, Nakmura was eventually caught and subdued after stabbing Ishizuka and Hayashi with a knife.

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