• Kyodo

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A Brazilian couple were given suspended prison terms Wednesday for harboring a compatriot suspected of involvement in the murders of a Brazilian woman and her two sons in Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, last December.

Takayoshi Nelson Shimada, 42, and Mitico Marisa Higashi, 43, were each handed three-year suspended sentences. Their defense team had called for leniency, saying the couple feared that Neves Edilson Donizeti, 44, who is still at large, would take revenge if they refused to provide him with shelter.

Presiding Judge Kenichi Hasegawa said, “Their motive of wanting to help a friend is plain and there is no room for leniency.”

The judge said the couple’s act deserves condemnation, given that the suspect has fled Japan. Donizeti, who is believed to have left for Brazil, has been placed on an international wanted list.

Shimada and Higashi allowed Donizeti to stay at their home in the city of Shizuoka on Dec. 18 and drove him to Japan Railway Shizuoka Station the following day. On Dec. 22, police found Misaki Sonia Aparecida Ferreira Sampio, 41, and her 10-year-old son, Hiroyuki, dead in Sampio’s apartment in Yaizu. Her 15-year-old son, Hiroaki, was found dead the following day at Donizeti’s apartment about 800 meters away. A warrant was issued for Donizeti, who police said was dating Sampio, on Dec. 23, for Hiroaki’s slaying.

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