• Kyodo

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The Fukuoka High Court on Tuesday upheld a death sentence handed down to a 29-year-old man who killed two relatives of a woman he was stalking in Nagasaki Prefecture in 2011.

Presiding Judge Hiroshi Furuta rejected an appeal filed by Gota Tsutsui against the ruling issued by the Nagasaki District Court last June.

Tsutsui fatally stabbed the woman’s mother, Mitsuko Yamashita, 56, and grandmother, Hisae, 77, at their home in the city of Saikai, Nagasaki Prefecture, on Dec. 16, 2011, according to the district court ruling.

The man was also charged with injuring the woman he stalked and sending intimidating emails to eight people, including her relatives.

During the trial, Tsutsui’s defense lawyers asserted he was not responsible and had been coerced by investigators into confessing to the murder charges.

The district court deemed his confession credible and noted that the bloodstains found on his coat matched the murder victims’ DNA.