CHIBA (Kyodo) The Chiba District Court sentenced a man to 15 years in prison Friday for killing a 5-year-old girl and dumping her corpse in Chiba Prefecture in 2008.

Ryo Katsuki, 24, was found guilty of abducting and killing Yukimaro Narita by submerging her in a water-filled bathtub at his home in Togane, Chiba Prefecture, and dumping her body nearby on Sept. 21, 2008.

Presiding Judge Tsutomu Tochigi said Katsuki was mentally competent but deserved a shorter term than the 20 years sought by the prosecution, saying he had poor competency and control capabilities at the time of the crime.

A focal point of the trial was whether Katsuki, who pleaded guilty, could be held criminally responsible for the murder. His counsel argued he had a mental disorder and was not competent to stand trial due to intellectual disabilities.

The prosecutors insisted the defendant was fully competent to stand trial.

At the trial, Yukimaro’s mother, Taeko, 40, was allowed to join the trial and demanded life imprisonment for the defendant.

No citizen judges took part in Katsuki’s trial because he was indicted in April 2009, before the lay judge system kicked off in May that year.

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