SAITAMA -- A woman was handed a death sentence in a lay-judge trial here on April 13 for murdering three male acquaintances in the metropolitan area in a widely publicized case, despite her insistence on her innocence.
A team of lay and professional judges at the Saitama District Court convicted Kanae Kijima, 37, of murdering Takao Terada, 53, of Ome, Tokyo, Kenzo Ando, 80, a resident of Noda, Chiba Prefecture, and Yoshiyuki Oide, 41, from Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, between January and August 2009 and making it look as if they had gassed themselves.
The focus of the trial was whether the three were murdered, killed themselves or died as a result of accidental fires.
Presiding Judge Kazuyuki Okuma recognized that Kijima murdered the three victims and made it appear as if they had gassed themselves to death by burning coal briquettes to generate carbon monoxide in enclosed spaces.
"There is sufficient evidence to prove her crimes," Okuma said. "The defendant trampled on the innocent victims' feelings."
Regarding the motives behind her crimes, the presiding judge said, "The defendant received huge amounts of money from the victims in order to maintain her luxurious lifestyle without working, and killed them in order to avoid repaying the money." Read More