Tsutsui Gota
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Man sentenced to death for killing 2 relatives of woman he stalked

June 15, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

NAGASAKI (Kyodo) -- The Nagasaki District Court on Friday sentenced a 28-year-old man to death for killing two relatives of a woman he had been stalking in 2011.

A panel of three professional and six citizen judges imposed the death penalty on Gota Tsutsui, a resident of Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, after finding him guilty of fatally stabbing the woman's mother Mitsuko Yamashita, 56, and grandmother Hisae, 77, at their home in the city of Saikai, Nagasaki Prefecture, on Dec. 16, 2011.
The defendant "claimed the lives of two people who had never been held responsible for any mistake," Presiding Judge Akira Shigetomi said.

"He attempted to kill all those at the woman's home to get to her and was preoccupied with his desire to posses and control the woman and too egoistic to think about anyone else," the judge said.


The judge said that during the trial the defendant repeated irrational explanations defaming and distressing the relatives of the victims. "We have no choice but to impose the death penalty."

Makoto Yamashita, the husband of Mitsuko, said the death sentence was "natural."

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Tsutsui, who had reversed his earlier confessions admitting to the murder charge and had pleaded not guilty in the trial. His defense lawyers immediately filed an appeal with the Fukuoka High Court.

Tsutsui was also charged with injuring the woman and sent intimidating e-mails to eight people including her relatives.

The murder case highlighted the failure of the Chiba, Mie and Nagasaki prefectural police departments to respond appropriately when they were contacted by the woman's family about Tsutsui's stalking.


In particular, investigators at the Narashino police station of the Chiba prefectural police department delayed officially accepting the complaint and went off on a pleasure trip before launching an investigation.


The police have admitted the murder of the two women could have been prevented if they had responded "with utmost efforts."