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The killer of two pachinko parlor employees in Gunma Prefecture in 2003 should hang for his crimes, the Tokyo High Court ruled Friday in upholding the death penalty for the accused.

Mitsunori Onogawa, 29, was convicted of strangling Tsunehisa Nemoto, 47, on Feb. 23, 2003, in the village of Miyagi, which is now part of the city of Maebashi, and dumping his corpse in a river, stealing a key to the pachinko parlor Nemoto worked for and 3 million yen in cash from the parlor.

He was also convicted of strangling Makoto Ishibashi, 25, a worker in another pachinko parlor in Gunma, on April 1, 2003. He and his accomplice, Tomoaki Takanezawa, 39, dumped the body in the same river, stole a key to the parlor, but failed in an attempt to burglarize it.

Takanezawa’s death sentence was finalized in June.

The Saitama District Court said in its ruling in March 2004 that the pair committed “cruel acts out of greed for money.”

Onogawa had appealed the district court ruling. Takanezawa appealed but retracted it.

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