Guilty of 20 threatening letters to a hospital…Defendant’s “deceptive” manipulations….
Facts are stranger than fiction. ……The case is so complicated and bizarre that such words are far from sufficient. To explain it all would probably take a book.
On November 17, the Maebashi District Court (Presiding Judge Ken Hashimoto) handed down a partial guilty verdict against defendant Yuko Yamamoto, 32, who was charged with obstructing business by force for sending a letter threatening murder to a hospital in Agatsuma County, Gunma Prefecture, in February 2020.
Yamamoto was also charged with robbery and murder in Nakanojo Town, Gunma Prefecture, in August 2020. Prior to the trial of that case, a separate hearing on obstruction of business was held. Therefore, the verdict will be either “guilty” or “not guilty. The sentence will be officially decided by the jury trial for the robbery and murder charges to be held later.
Mr. A’s arrest itself was “fabricated” by Yamamoto.
The trial for obstruction of power, a separate trial, has been ongoing at the Maebashi District Court since September of this year. According to the indictment and opening statement, Yamamoto did not personally send the letter to the hospital threatening murder. He instructed B, a man he met on a matching app (already convicted of the same crime), to send the letter. Why did he give such instructions? Yamamoto believed that a police officer had “spread his personal information,” and he wanted to “embarrass the officer,” the prosecutor claimed.
The story gets more complicated from here. In addition to Yamamoto, his dating partner, a woman named A, a man named B whom Yamamoto met on a matching app, and a police officer from the Gunma Prefectural Police Azuma Station appeared at the trial, but the facts were twisted by Yamamoto’s fiction and fabrication, resulting in a number of miscommunications.
First, in July 2019, Yamamoto began dating a woman he met on SNS, Ms. A. The following month, Ms. A was arrested by the Gunma Prefectural Police Agatsuma Police Station.
The following month, Ms. A was arrested by the Gunma Police Department’s Azuma Police Station. After that, Ms. A cut off contact with Yamamoto, but Yamamoto thought this was because a police officer at the Azuma Police Station had leaked his personal information to Ms. A, and his resentment grew. Thus, in order to “get back” at the police officer, he allegedly made a murder threat against the hospital.
B, who sympathized with Yamamoto’s feelings of resentment and was instructed by the defendant, sent a threatening letter by ordinary mail from Saga Prefecture, where he lived, in February 2020, stating, “There is a police officer at the Azuma Police Station who will tell your personal information without your permission.
However, at his first trial, the defendant, Yamamoto, completely denied the allegation, saying, “I never sent the threatening letter together with B.” His defense lawyer also claimed that the case was initiated by B, saying, “B initiated it.
Since this was a case of denial, the people involved appeared as witnesses at each trial. The Azuma police officer, B, and his former girlfriend, Ms. A. …… Their statements and other evidence revealed the shocking fact that Ms. A’s arrest in the first place was a “fabrication” orchestrated by the defendant, Yamamoto. The shocking fact was that Mr. A’s arrest was a “fabrication” orchestrated by the defendant Yamamoto.
First, a police officer at the Azuma Police Station testified about the circumstances of Ms. A’s arrest.
The defendant called the Agatsuma police station and said, ‘My friend is in possession of methamphetamine, and I want you to catch him. But since the defendant had previously “staged” a crime, there was a possibility that he might have planted methamphetamine in someone else’s possession. I was instructed by my supervisor to be cautious.
Later, the defendant showed up at the police station with Mr. A in his car and said, “A has methamphetamine,” so the police searched his belongings and found methamphetamine. The defendant was cautious because there was a possibility that he had concealed methamphetamine in Mr. A’s belongings, but a urine test was also positive, so he was arrested and sent home.
However, Mr. A consistently denied the charges, claiming he had no recollection of either use or possession.”
Why did Ms. A, Yamamoto’s former boyfriend, consistently deny the charges? During the witness interview, she said in a quiet voice, “The drink Yamamoto gave me was bitter,” and continued, “Before I went to the police station, I went to a karaoke bar.
Before going to the police station, I went to a karaoke bar. The defendant said, ‘Wait in the room,’ so I went ahead and waited in the room, and he brought me a Coke. It was bitter. After that, I stopped at a convenience store and went to the bathroom. I left my luggage in the car, and the defendant stayed in the car.”
In other words, Ms. A was arrested for violating the Methamphetamine Control Law because Yamamoto put methamphetamine in her drink, which he obtained from somewhere, and also slipped methamphetamine into her luggage when she was out of sight. In fact, Yamamoto himself was later arrested by the Agatsuma Police Department for violating the Narcotics Control Law.
The police officers of the Azuma Police Department had faced defendant Yamamoto on other occasions as well.
The defendant worked at a campground and had reported a self-made threat. Specifically, he had used one of his two cell phones to send threatening messages to the other one, and reported to the police station that he had been ‘threatened'” (testimony of a police officer at the Azuma Police Station). From such a past, “I grasped him as a person who would humiliate people,” said a police officer at the Azuma Police Station.
The police officer advised Mr. A, a former boyfriend of Yamamoto’s who had been arrested for entrapping him, even though he was innocent, that there was nothing good about being in a relationship with him. This statement overlapped with the part of Yamamoto’s anger that the police officer had passed on his personal information to Ms. A.
What did Yamamoto say at the trial? During the questioning of the defendant, he denied any involvement in the case itself, saying, “B, who I met on a matching app, did it on her own,” and exploded with resentment toward the Agatsuma Police Department. According to Yamamoto’s statement, the incident started when she complained to B, a man she met on a matching app, saying, “At the time, I was also arrested.
I told him that I had been arrested at the time and that I had been in a relationship with my former boyfriend, A. He complained, “The police revealed my personal information to me without my permission. I complained that the police revealed my personal information to me without my permission. Then B said to me, ……, ‘I will help you. He said, ‘The police are unbelievable and unforgivable. They are not what I think of as the police.
This “complaint” led B, who sympathized with Yamamoto, to compose a threatening letter saying, “I’m in Saga, so I can help you if you write me a letter,”…… Yamamoto said.
However, what B heard from Yamamoto at that time was completely different from Yamamoto’s story. B, who had sent the threatening letter by ordinary mail from Saga at the time of the incident, told the court that he “created the threatening letter as instructed” because “I was in love with Yamamoto at the time.
I registered on a matching app because I wanted a girlfriend, and that’s how I met the defendant. We had a similar upbringing and shared some common interests, so we liked each other and started dating right after we met. We never actually met, and we never called each other.
B, who thought she was dating Yamamoto, stated that she had once provided Yamamoto with about 1 million yen in aid. He said that the trigger for writing the threatening letter was when Yamamoto told him: “The police officer I was dating at the time lent me the money.
A police officer I was dating at the time wouldn’t return the money I lent him. He would cheat me and not return things I lent him. He would even get violent with me, so I wanted to get back at him.”
This story itself is not true, but a fabrication of Yamamoto’s own. Nevertheless, B, who believed this story and sympathized with him, handwrote “the text of the threats sent by Yamamoto on line” on a letterhead and put it in the mailbox.
Yamamoto, who had involved others in his fiction and fabrication, continued to talk about his resentment toward the Agatsuma Police Department during the defendant’s questioning.
I was very angry at the police officers of the Agatsuma Police Department for passing on information to other people without my permission ……. I was very displeased.
According to the testimony of the person involved, all Yamamoto knew at the time was that “the police officer advised Ms. A to break up with the defendant. However, Yamamoto did not hide his anger at the trial, saying, “I was told my privacy without permission.
The prosecutor stated in his closing argument that the defendant “ caused great anxiety and fear among hospital personnel. The unrelated hospital was forced to be on alert for three weeks, and as many as 79 police officers were sent to guard the hospital. What did Yamamoto, who was responsible for causing such a big fuss, want to do after all? In the first place, even the purpose of the “cover-up” that led to Mr. A’s arrest for violating the Methamphetamine Control Law was unclear. Everyone around him was simply caught up in Yamamoto’s fictional story and self-made-up act.
Yamamoto is expected to face a jury trial for robbery and murder. The man accused of the same crime as an accomplice has already been sentenced to 27 years in prison.
Interview and text by： Yuki Takahashi
Bystander. Freelance writer. Author of "Tsukebi no Mura: Did a Rumor Kill Five People?" (Shobunsha), "Runaway Senior Citizen, Crime Theater" (Yoizensha Shinsho), "Kanae Kijima, Dangerous Love" (Tokuma Shoten), "Kanae Kijima Theater" (Takarajimasha), and many other books based on interviews and trial hearings of murder cases, including "Kasumikko Club: Daughters' Trial Hearing Diary" (Shinchosha), and on June 1, "Escape is Victory: Confessions of Escaped Criminals Confessions of the Escaped Criminals" (Shogakukan) was newly published on June 1.