Ex-Marine accused of raping and murdering woman refuses to testify on first day of trial, denies intent to murder

Ex-Marine accused of raping and murdering woman refuses to testify on first day of trial, denies intent to murder

Courtroom for the trial of the ex-Marine accused of murdering Okinawa woman. November 16, Naha District Court (example photo)


November 17, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo


The first day of hearings in the trial of the 33-year-old ex-Marine accused of rape resulting in death and murder of an Okinawan woman while employed as a civilian base worker in April, 2016 began today at Naha District Court (Judge Toshihiro Shibata presiding).

While the defendant has pled guilty to the charges of rape resulting in death and abandoning the victim’s body, he has denied the charges of premeditated murder, saying, “I did not mean to kill her.”

The defendant’s lawyer also argued that the defendant’s actions did not constitute murder. Furthermore, the defendant invoked the right against self-incrimination, and refused to testify.


During the prosecution’s cross-examination attempting to confirm the statement describing the incident immediately after the arrest, the defendant refused to answer any questions.

While the possibility of a court testimony by the defendant was anticipated after invoking the right to remain silent during the police investigation, the silence continued.


During the arraignment the defense stated, “There was no intention to kill. The defendant intended knocking the victim unconscious and raping her at a hotel, after which he would release her.

However, he could not proceed with his plan when the woman failed to lose consciousness.


In their opening statement, the prosecution argued that the defendant intended to kill the woman after raping her in the road, the defendant’s possession of a slapper (stick used to knock someone unconscious) a knife and a suitcase indicated both pre-meditation and planning.

After which, the defendant went to Uruma to find a victim.

After striking the victim on the back of the head multiple times with the slapper, the defendant strangled the woman by hand, and stabbed her repeatedly in the neck with the knife, which the prosecution stresses is “recognized as intent to kill.”


Conversely, the defense argued that the striking with the slapper and strangulation was only in attempt to render the victim unconscious, and not with intent to kill, and that it is possible that the victim died from injuries sustained when the defendant threw the victim into the grass near the road.


In the indictment, the defendant is accused of intent to murder a 20-year-old woman walking on the road in Uruma by striking her in the head, strangling her with both hands and stabbing her repeatedly in the neck around 10 p.m. on April 20, 2016.

It also states that the defendant sought to kill the victim after abandoning the violent assault.


The second day of the trial is set for 10 a.m. on November 17.

The victim’s father will give a statement, and there will be another attempt to examine the defendant.


(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)


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