Death penalty sought for Kobe man over murder of 6-year-old girl


Prosecutors on Friday sought the death penalty for a man accused of murdering a 6-year-old girl and abandoning her body in Kobe in 2014, saying the case showed a brutal disregard for human life.

Yasuhiro Kimino, 49, allegedly lured the girl into his home by asking her to be a model for a painting. He then strangled and stabbed her, cut up her body and put the parts into plastic bags, which he then abandoned in bushes near his home, prosecutors said.

Kimino is charged with abduction for obscene purposes, murder, damage to a corpse and abandoning a corpse.

In their closing arguments outlined at Kobe District Court, the prosecutors termed Kimino’s criminal motivation “selfish,” saying there is no reason to spare the defendant from the death sentence as he has “a strong propensity to crime and it would be very difficult to correct him.”

The court plans to issue a ruling March 18.

The defendant admitted killing the girl and dismembering and abandoning her body in the first hearing of his trail Monday, but denied he abducted her for the purpose of molesting her.

The girl’s mother told the court Thursday she would never forgive the man.

The victim went missing after she returned home from elementary school in Kobe on Sept. 11, 2014, and her dismembered body was found on Sept. 23. Police arrested Kimino, who lived locally, the following day.