National

Man convicted of 1999 murders of woman, baby girl to seek retrial

Kyodo

Lawyers for a 31-year-old man who was sentenced to death for murdering a woman and her baby girl in 1999 say they will ask for a retrial, possibly in the fall.

Yoshihiro Yasuda, primary lawyer for Takayuki Otsuki, whose death penalty was finalized in March, said in Tokyo Saturday the defense team will gather in August and file a appeal around October. Otsuki committed the murders when he was 18 years and 1 month old, becoming the youngest death penalty recipient in the nation.

Under the Juvenile Law, which defines juveniles as those under 20, death can be issued to defendants who are 18 or older at the time of their crimes.

Otsuki was sentenced to death by the Hiroshima High Court in April 2008 for breaking into the home of Hiroshi Motomura, 36, in Hikari, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in April 1999 and strangling his wife, Yayoi, 23, and 11-month-old daughter, Yuka, while Motomura was absent. Otsuki also raped the wife.

The Supreme Court told the Hiroshima High Court in 2006 to review its ruling and consider sentencing him to life, saying his age was not a sufficient reason to exempt him from the death penalty.