The family of a woman who was stabbed 49 times is outraged. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The family of a woman who was stabbed 49 times is outraged.

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Tokyo High Court where Hori’s trial took place on February 10 (Photo: Afro)

Prosecution, which sought life imprisonment, filed an unusual appeal.

On February 10, the Tokyo High Court (presided over by Akira Ando) held the first trial for the appeal of Ai Hori, 22, a former classmate who was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison at the first trial for stabbing to death a 19-year-old university student in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, in June 2020.

The trial judge at the Numazu Branch of the Shizuoka District Court sentenced the defendant to 20 years in prison, instead of the life imprisonment he had sought. The prosecution appealed against the sentence, and the trial concluded on the same day.

At the appeal hearing, held approximately one year and seven months after the first trial, Hori appeared in court wearing the same shaved head, black jacket, and black sweat pants as at the first trial, and sat on a couch without facing the audience as before.

According to the court ruling, on the afternoon of June 27, 2020, in Numazu City, Hori chased Mirai Yamada, a student at the same university, and pulled her down, stabbing her several times with a kitchen knife and killing her. Yamada’s body was found with 49 wounds. Before the murder, he had violated the Stalker Regulation Law by persistently sending messages to Ms. Yamada’s phone on LINE and Instagram, and had also broken into a club room on campus to obtain her contact information, which constitutes breaking and entering.

Hori was not in a relationship with Ms. Yamada; in 2019, he took a one-sided liking to her when he saw her on campus, and after persistently asking her for her LINE ID, he repeatedly sent her LINE messages to the account he had obtained and asked her to have dinner with him.

I’d like to go out to dinner with Mirai next week, what do you think?

After the test, would you go out to dinner with me?

[Claire] Do you have any free days this month?

I’m going out for ramen tomorrow, if you have time, would you like to join me?

Yamada refused each time, but Hori continued to send him messages regardless. By the time of the incident, they had exchanged a total of 789 messages, of which the defendant sent 551. The questioning also delved into her private life.

Do you have any boyfriends?

What kind of man is your type?

Are you looking for a relationship? I don’t really like anyone at the moment.

When Mr. Yamada’s reply was delayed, he would send, “Mirai, your reply is late,” without hiding his dissatisfaction. Finally, in April 2020, Ms. Yamada expressed her rejection of Mr. Hori, but he showed no sign of backing down, saying, “You said before that you would continue LINE with me. Besides, I like the future and I enjoy LINE with people I like the most, so I can’t do it even if you say so,” he said. A few days before the incident, Ms. Yamada blocked the LINE.

Between October 2019 and June 2020, when the incident occurred, a total of 789 exchanges took place, of which the defendant sent 551 lines (photo: image, aflo).

Ai Horiran wrote in her “grudge notebook” that she wanted to “kill her family and everyone in her life.

In February 2020, the defendant purchased a kitchen knife at a home improvement store and identified Yamada’s part-time job, home, and car. In a notebook found in the defendant’s room after the incident, he scribbled down his hatred for Ms. Yamada that went beyond love for her.

At the appeal hearing, Mr. Yamada’s father was questioned as a witness, and from behind an impulse stand, he expressed his feelings about the 20-year sentence handed down by the first trial court.

I was not satisfied at all,” he said. At the first trial, I stated that I wanted him to be sentenced to death. The sentence sought was life imprisonment. The defense had asked for a sentence of 22 years in prison. A sentence of two years less than that …… is far from satisfactory.”

The first trial court’s decision that the defendant was 20 years old at the time of the crime and had room for rehabilitation was also unacceptable, noting that “it is totally unconvincing that the defendant was judged to have room for rehabilitation simply because he was young, even though he had no remorse. The defendant still has a chance to start over, but Mirai no longer has one,” he said in a choked voice.

He also said that after the verdict, he received a letter of apology from defendant Hori, but he revealed, “I received only that one letter, even though it said, ‘I will write you many more letters of apology in the future. In the “Notebook of Grudges” that Hori had written before the incident, he had stated that in addition to his grudge against Mirai, he had “killed his entire family.

I really want Mirai back. That’s all I want. I am so sorry, so sorry, I can’t stand it.

At the end of the questioning, Yamada’s father made this appeal to Hori, but Hori did not look at him, blinking repeatedly and looking down.

During the defendant’s questioning, he said, “I strongly felt again that the crime I committed cannot be undone. I will make amends for the rest of my life.” The verdict against Hori, who spoke quickly and plainly, will be handed down in March.

  • Interview and text by Yuki Takahashi Yuki Takahashi

    Bystander. Freelance writer. Published works include "Tsukebi no Mura: Did a Rumor Kill Five People?" (Shobunsha), "Runaway Senior Citizen, Crime Theater" (Yoizensha Shinsho), "Kanae Kishima Kanae Dangerous Love" (Tokuma Shoten), "Kanae Kishima Theater" (Takarajimasya), and many other books based on interviews and trial hearings of murder cases, such as the older "Kasumikko Club: Daughters' Trial Hearing Diary" (Shinchosha). (Shogakukan) was newly published on June 1.

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