MITO – A 36-year-old Filipino man admitted in court Tuesday to raping and murdering a female Ibaraki University student in January 2004, while his defense team claimed that he was influenced by two accomplices.
During his first court hearing, Lampano Jerico Mori confessed to the crimes against the 21-year-old second-year student. The defense team, however, has expressed its intent to contest some of the charges, such as the number of times he stabbed her.
According to the indictment, Mori conspired with two juveniles in forcing the woman into a car on a street near the town of Ami, Ibaraki Prefecture, before sexually assaulting and choking her in the early hours of Jan. 31, 2004. They then killed her by stabbing her multiple times with a knife at a riverbank in the neighboring village of Miho.
The defense counsel claimed that Mori, still a “young man” at that time, “escalated” his actions because he was influenced by his accomplices. They said Mori, who was then working at an electronic parts factory in Miho, is now reflecting on his wrongdoing and is willing to pay for what he did.
Police arrested Mori, who was working at a factory in Gifu Prefecture, in September 2017 and have placed his two accomplices, now aged 34 and 32 and also Philippines nationals, on an international wanted list. The two accomplices were minors at the time of the murder.
But there are slim prospects of the police being able to build a case against the two accomplices as both of them left the country after the murder.
During the trial at the Mito District Court, prosecutors said a DNA sample found on the hand of the woman reinforced the case against the defendant.
The prosecutors also said Mori confessed to the crimes to the mother of one of his accomplices in March 2007.