Aichi man gets life for killing family
(Note: prosecutors sought life imprisonment.)


NAGOYA (Kyodo) The Nagoya District Court sentenced a man to life in prison Monday for killing his parents, wife, two children and brother in Chita, Aichi Prefecture, last year in a failed murder-suicide pact that left him alive.

Mikio Murata, 48, and his brother, Toyoharu, 44, strangled the others on April 2, 2005, and then stabbed each other, the court ruled. The elder brother died, but Mikio Murata, although seriously injured, survived.

The brothers made the pact because the steelworks company they ran was in financial trouble and they had a large amount of debt.

Murata was convicted of using a rope to strangle his father, Minoru, 74; his mother, Kinue, 74; his wife, Ayako, 38; his daughter, Naho, 11; and his son, Kenya, 9. After it was clear the murder-suicide pact had failed, Murata called police two days later and turned himself in.

His lawyers sought leniency, claiming Murata was insane at the time of the murders.

The prosecutors asked for life imprisonment, saying Murata was capable of telling right from wrong because he tried to stop his brother from strangling their mother, even though the two had planned to kill the entire family.

The Japan Times: Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2006
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