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KOBE (Kyodo) The Kobe District Court sentenced a 43-year-old man to death Tuesday for murdering and dismembering two women and dumping their remains.

Presiding Judge Joji Igarashi of the court’s Himeji branch said Kazuya Takayanagi’s crimes were “savage, brutal and appalling” and he showed no signs of remorse. The sentence was in accordance with the prosecution’s demand.

Takayanagi’s lawyers, who sought to avoid the death penalty by arguing it cannot be proved he had a definite intent to kill one of the victims, said they plan to file an appeal.

Takayanagi used a hammer to kill his girlfriend, Mika Hatafuji, and her friend, Yoshimi Tanigawa, both 23, at his home in Aioi, Hyogo Prefecture, on Jan. 9, 2005, and then dumped their remains in the mountains and in a port, the court said.

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