/

Accused killer of 19 at Sagamihara facility deemed fit to stand trial: sources

Kyodo

The man behind a deadly stabbing rampage at a live-in facility for people with disabilities in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, in July 2016 is fit to stand trial, investigative sources have said.

Satoshi Uematsu, 27, a former employee of the facility, Tsukui Yamayuri-en, had been undergoing psychiatric evaluation to judge if he can be held criminally responsible.

The Yokohama Public Prosecutor’s Office will indict him on murder and other charges by Friday, when his detention period expires, the sources said.

In the early morning hours of July 26, Uematsu broke into the care home for people with intellectual disabilities and went on a stabbing rampage. Nineteen people were killed and 27 others were wounded, making it the worst mass-murder case in Japan’s postwar history.

Uematsu told police soon after his arrest that “killing is not good,” and he “felt sorry” for killing the residents. The psychiatric evaluation took such statements into consideration, concluding that he was in a state of mind where he could tell right from wrong — a measurement for determining whether suspects can be held criminally liable.

In a report being prepared by police, a psychiatrist mentions the possibility that Uematsu suffered from a narcissistic personality disorder and might have been unable to act reasonably, as he considered himself as being special and entertained biased beliefs and fantasies. But the report concluded that the degree of his disorder was considered relatively mild and not sufficient to explain his actions, according to the sources.

The prosecutors are believed to cite the gravity of the crime and the well-planned nature of the attack — in which Uematsu had prepared knives and zip ties beforehand — as grounds for prosecution.

Even today, Uematsu continues to voice self-righteous ideas, such as “We don’t need people with disabilities in this world,” according to the sources.