• Kyodo

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The defense team for a 22-year-old former Nagoya University student launched an appeal on Thursday against a high court ruling upholding a life sentence for the 2014 murder of an elderly woman and other attempted murders while the student was attending high school, officials at the high court said.

The appeal was filed with the Supreme Court after Nagoya High Court last month sentenced the former student to life in prison, saying she can be held liable for the crimes.

The defense had sought her acquittal in hearings, claiming she has been suffering from a severe mental disorder. But Nagoya District Court ruled in March 2017 that she was mentally competent and that her disorder would not have significantly influenced her actions.

The district court ruled that the former student murdered Tomoko Mori, 77, at the then 19-year-old’s apartment in Nagoya in December 2014, and tried to kill a female classmate at junior high school and a male classmate at senior high school sometime between May and July 2012 by poisoning them with thallium.

The former student’s name is being withheld because she was a minor at the time of the crimes.