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The Shizuoka District Court has sentenced a 34-year-old man to death for killing two men whose dismembered bodies were found around Lake Hamana in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, in 2016.

In handing down the ruling, Presiding Judge Masanobu Sato said Friday that Tatsuya Kawasaki committed the “brutal” crimes “in cold blood.”

Throughout the lay judge trial, Kawasaki exercised his right to remain silent and his lawyer demanded the defendant be acquitted.

But the judge said he could hardly imagine a scenario from circumstantial evidence in which another person or persons killed the two, pointing out that the murders were committed for money.

According to the ruling, Kawasaki killed 62-year-old Atsushi Sudo, who was unemployed, in Hamamatsu around Jan. 29, 2016, to steal a cash card and other items. By July 14 the same year, Kawasaki had burned the body and abandoned the parts around the lake.

He also murdered 32-year-old factory worker Yuto Demachi in the adjacent city of Iwata around July 5, disposing of his body in a similar manner.

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