Man acquitted of murder-robbery in Oita
February 24th, 2010

The Oita District Court on Tuesday acquitted a man accused of killing a female acquaintance and stealing her car in 2005 in Bungo-Ono, Oita Prefecture.
Junichi Ito, 58, who was arrested about two years after the death of Noriko Yamaguchi, 61, once admitted to the allegations during the investigation but denied them in the trial, in which the credibility of his initial confession was the main focus of the argument.

Prosecutors argued that he voluntarily confessed during the questioning and it was reliable, saying he committed a malicious and cruel crime. Ito’s defense team insisted he was innocent in its last argument, saying there was no concrete evidence in the case and his confession report was made up.

Ito was indicted on charges of murdering the woman by hitting her head with a concrete chunk, strangling her with a rope and stealing her car on March 14, 2005, at her home.