A jury trial is underway at the Fukuoka District Court (presided over by Judge Hitomi Takebayashi) for the murder of a 17-year-old boy with no fixed address who was charged with stabbing an unacquainted woman to death at a commercial facility in Fukuoka City in August 2020.
The incident took place at MARK IS Fukuoka Momochi, a large commercial facility in Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City, near the Fukuoka PayPay Dome. The defendant, a 15-year-old boy, stole two kitchen knives from a store in the facility and followed a woman, 21, who was shopping with a friend at the time, into the women’s restroom. When the woman came out of the private room, he held a kitchen knife to her and stabbed her neck and other parts with the knife, killing her. At his arraignment on July 6, the juvenile admitted the facts of the indictment, saying, “There is no doubt about it.” On July 15, the juvenile was sentenced to an indeterminate term of 10 to 15 years in prison, and the verdict is scheduled to be delivered on July 25.
The boy who was caught red-handed violating the Firearms Act had just been released from a juvenile reformatory on parole two days before the incident and entered a rehabilitation facility in Fukuoka Prefecture. The following day, however, he escaped from the facility and committed the crime. After being re-arrested on suspicion of murder and undergoing psychiatric evaluation, the case was sent to the Fukuoka Family Court in December 2020 on charges of murder and other delinquency, but in January 2021 the Kagoshima Family Court, which later sent the case, decided to send the case back to the prosecutor on the grounds that “criminal punishment was appropriate. In the same month, he was indicted by the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office for murder and other crimes, and his first trial was held on the same day.
In his opening statement, the prosecutor argued that criminal punishment should be imposed, citing the fact that the boy had followed and killed a woman for sexual purposes, the maliciousness of the crime, and the fact that the crime occurred two days after he was released from a juvenile reformatory on parole. In contrast, the defense counsel argued that “punishment will not lead to a fundamental solution,” citing the fact that the boy had been abused at home since childhood, that he had been moved from one facility to another, and that his mother, who had initially planned to take over his care upon his parole from the juvenile training school, refused to do so.
According to the boy’s statement during questioning of the defendant on July 7, after leaving the rehabilitation facility where he had been placed after his parole, “a stylish woman walked by, and I followed her” and entered the commercial establishment where the incident took place. The woman was not the same as the victim. As for the prosecution’s claim that he intended to have sexual intercourse, he said, “I was desperate at the time, so I said it was for sexual purposes. He said he “didn’t know” why he entered the women’s restroom.
When he confronted the woman, she advised him to turn himself in, but he testified that he “saw her and his mother together and got angry,” which led to the incident. The boy claims that he became angry when he remembered that his mother, who had initially agreed to take him in at the time of his parole from the juvenile reformatory, had refused at the last minute. ……
What was the relationship between the boy and his family, including his mother, who refused to take him in on his parole? What kind of background led him to move from one facility to another? At the trial held on March 12, a university professor who conducted a psychological evaluation of the boy appeared as a witness and revealed the boy’s life story.
According to the report, the boy is the third child of his parents, who married at age 20, and has an older brother, six years older, and an older sister, four years older.
According to the report, the boy is the third child of his parents, who married at the age of 20. His violent behavior at the daycare center also becomes more pronounced. He bit another child, head-butted another child, and attacked a staff member. There have been reports of tantrums and rampages that resulted in broken ribs for nursery staff. The homeroom teacher at the elementary school said, ‘The day-care center informed us that violence had been constant since he was in day-care center,’ which is extremely rare. Also, a roughness finding at a 3-year-old child’s medical checkup is rare, at least I have never heard of it. There must have been a very big problem in the child-rearing environment,” the professor testified at the trial.
‘Being involved with his mother makes him crazy.’
In 2012, the boy entered elementary school, but his roughness and hyperactivity continued. He choked other children, ran out of school, and broke glass at the school.
In 2014, when the boy was 9 years old, his father had an affair and they separated.
When the parents began living separately and their marriage fell apart, coincidence or not, the boy’s violence increased. In addition, he began to be reluctant to go to school, became buried in video games, and began to lead a life in which his days and nights were reversed. He said, ‘When I was in the third grade of elementary school, I became violent and reopened the door. Until then, I had self-loathing when I was violent, but those thoughts changed.’
When he was 10 years old, his mother took him to a mental hospital and started medication, but it was soon interrupted “because his mother could not manage the medication” (ibid.). The mother then tried to admit the boy to a child guidance center without informing him in advance, but he “became violent and could not be protected” (ibid.), so he was admitted to another hospital. From here, he moved from one place to another, including a child psychotherapy facility, a children’s self-support facility, and a psychiatric hospital, all of which caused violent disturbances.
In 2017, when the boy was 12 years old, his parents divorced. The following year, the boy was admitted to a national child psychotherapy facility, but even here he was observed committing violent acts and going out without permission, and eventually he tried to break tempered glass with a fire extinguisher, which led to his admission to a classification home In 2019, the Kagoshima Family Court decided to admit him to a juvenile reformatory. He then lost his place to return to after his mother’s refusal to take him in over his discharge, leading to the incident.
After reading the boy’s history, the professor began by describing his family environment up to the age of 10, when he was placed in an institution. According to the professor, in the home where the boy was raised, “physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse were all observed. Domestic violence was commonplace,” he said. In one instance, the mother was found trying to give the boy an adult magazine while he was in a psychiatric hospital. According to the transcript, the boy’s brother said of his mother, “She encouraged my brother’s sexual interest. He said, “My mother has been involved with me for over 40 years, and I’ve been a part of her career for over 40 years.
The boy’s older brother said of his mother, “She encouraged my brother’s sexual interests, and she would go crazy. It was an extremely inappropriate nurturing environment” (testimony of the professor at the trial).
The boy’s family environment was indeed astonishing, as described by the professor, who specializes in child abuse.
≪ Continued from [Part 2] “The Loneliness of the Accused Boy Who Stabbed a Woman to Death and “Couldn’t Stop Masturbating in Public””
Interview and text by： Yuki Takahashi
Bystander. Freelance writer. Author of "Tsukebi no Mura: Rumor Killed 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 the older "Kasumikko Club: Daughters' Trial Hearing Diary" (Shinchosha). Confessions of Escaped Criminals" (Shogakukan) was newly published.