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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Asian Beauty:Aya.K | Boy, 16, pleads guilty to parricide

A 16-year-old boy accused of murdering his parents and then trying to conceal the crime pleaded guilty at the opening of his trial at the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday.
The trial proceeded in total anonymity, with neither the names of the parents nor the boy being disclosed, as per the defense's request to protect the child's privacy.
The boy was sent to prosecutors by the Tokyo Family Court for the June 20 murder of his parents. Following the murder, the first-year high school student allegedly filled the family's dormitory room with gas, which he ignited using a timer attached to a hot plate.
The boy was indicted on suspicion of murder and using explosives.
At the hearing, he admitted to all the charges and said he had done a very foolish thing to his parents, repaying good with evil, and he was very sorry.
The defense council requested he be sent back to the family court, saying it had been a mistake to send him to prosecutors and he should have been placed in protective custody.
In its opening statement, the prosecution explained the motive for, and circumstances of, the boy's crime.
Since primary school, the boy had been assisting his father with various jobs, including cleaning rooms at the construction company dormitories that his father managed. With an increase in his father's workload, the youth started to ponder patricide in September 2004.
The night before he killed his father, his father told him, "I'm smarter than you. I've been working hard since I was a kid." He then grabbed the boy and shook his head. The boy felt he could no longer deal with his father, and decided to end his father's life.
As to the murder of his mother, the boy reportedly felt she would be lonely following the death of her husband, so he decided to kill her too.
He attempted to cover up the murder with a gas explosion that was meant to burn the bodies and divert attention to the fire.
According to the indictment, the boy bludgeoned his father to death with a dumbbell in the caretaker's room at the dormitory in the morning.
He then stabbed his mother to death with a kitchen knife. Later, he filled the caretaker's room with gas and set it alight.
The boy was 15 years old at the time of the murders. Though the general rule is for family courts to send juveniles aged 16 and up to prosecutors for serious crimes, the Tokyo Family Court decided the boy should be tried at a criminal court so he would receive a punishment commensurate with the seriousness of his crimes.
At the hearing, the boy took the stand prior to the gallery being admitted to the courtroom. Wearing a black jacket and jeans, he never faced those in attendance, hiding his expression.
At the beginning of most trials, the defendant is required to state her or his name and address. But in keeping with the request for anonymity, presiding Judge Tsutomu Tochigi simply asked him if there was any mistake on the indictment placed before him.
The boy stood up and answered, "I was a high school student at that time, but now I'm unemployed. There are no other mistakes." He did not give his name or address.
According to the court, it is rare for criminal trials to be conducted in this manner, even when the defendant is a juvenile.
Throughout the reading of the indictment and the prosecution's opening statement, the boy was referred to as "the defendant," and his parents were called "the parents," with no names given.
Their address, which was the site of the crime, was given only as "Itabashi Ward."
After pleading guilty, the boy expressed regret in a calm voice and apologized for setting off the explosion, saying, "I'm very sorry I caused anxiety and inconvenienced people that had nothing to do with this."
During the prosecutors' opening statement, he sat facing the court with his head hanging down.


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