Kageyama HIroshi

Tottori double-killer gets life, lay judges agree

TOTTORI (Kyodo) A panel of three professional and six lay judges sentenced a 55-year-old man to life imprisonment Tuesday for killing two people and stealing money last year in Tottori Prefecture.

Hiroshi Kageyama was convicted in the Tottori District Court of robbery and murder, which is punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment under the Penal Code. Prosecutors had demanded life, saying the defendant had been driven into a corner.

Kageyama was convicted of killing Hideo Ishitani, 82, who was the president of the accounting office he worked at, and Ishitani's cohabitant, Masako Omori, 74, in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, on Feb. 21, 2009.

He was also convicted of stealing about ¥70,000 in cash and a credit card and later withdrawing some ¥12.1 million from Ishitani's bank account. Kageyama was an executive at the accounting office, which was having financial difficulties.

The trial drew media attention because it was the first in which lay judges could have had to weigh whether to condemn the defendant, as the case involved more than one slaying.

But the prosecutors sought life imprisonment, saying there was room for sympathy because Kageyama was effectively being pressured to cover the firm's debts, and he was also being treated unfairly, as Ishitani was forcing him to perform personal routine duties.

Presiding Judge Akihiro Ogura said Kageyama had financial problems and killed the victims to steal money.

Kageyama's trial started Feb. 23 and entailed four sessions. The professional and lay judges deliberated the facts of the case and the punishment on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

The defendant admitted killing the pair but told the court robbery was not the motive. His counsel had called for a fixed sentence, saying life imprisonment is too harsh.
The Japan Times: Wednesday, March 3, 2010
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High court upholds life sentence in double murder case
14th September, 14, 2010

The Hiroshima High Court on Monday upheld a lower court decision that sentenced a 56-year-old man to life imprisonment over a double murder case in a lay judge trial.

Hiroshi Kageyama killed Hideo Ishitani, 82, manager of an accounting office at which the defendant worked, and his cohabitant Masako Omori, 74, in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, in February last year, and stole cash and a cash card to later withdraw some 12 million yen from a bank account, according to the ruling by the Tottori District Court.

Kageyama’s defense council appealed the ruling, seeking a shorter-term sentence, but Yukio Furukawa, presiding judge at the high court’s Matsue Branch, turned it down.


Life sentence sought in murder-robbery trial under lay judge system

27th February, 2010


Prosecutors on Friday sought a life sentence for a 55-year-old man indicted for killing two people and stealing cash, instead of seeking capital punishment for the first time under the lay judge system. While the defendant, Hiroshi Kageyama, claimed two lives, ‘‘he committed the crime after being driven to his last nerve, and there is room to be sympathetic with him,’’ the prosecutors told the Tottori District Court, explaining why they did not seek death penalty.

Kageyama is accused of killing Hideo Ishitani, 82, and Ishitani’s cohabiter Masako Omori, 74, in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, on Feb. 21 last year and stealing 70,000 yen in cash. He also withdrew some 12 million yen later from the victim’s account, according to the indictment. He worked at Ishitani’s accounting office.

While admitting to the killings, Kageyama told the court robbery was not the motive, denying part of the indictment at the first hearing on Tuesday.

His defense lawyers argued in the court the defendant had been severely rebuked by Ishitani on a daily basis and that Kageyama had assumed the debts of the accounting office.

Three professional judges and six citizen judges will hand down the ruling next Tuesday following closed-door deliberations.