≪In August last year, Kota Konishi, 22, was charged with attempted murder for stabbing a man in his 40s, Mr. A, a resident of an apartment in Adachi-ku, Tokyo, with a knife. Although Konishi was sentenced to eight years in prison on July 14, at his first trial on July 4, Mr. A, who was stabbed in the chest but survived the attack, revealed a story that differed greatly from Konishi’s. This article continues from the first part of the series, “A Wife Requested 500,000 yen to Murder Her Husband…The ‘Terrible Reason’ for the Defendant’s Plea of Innocence.
At the first trial, when asked about the incident, Konishi repeatedly claimed that Ryota Sakai, whom she had invited as a “strong-willed” companion, committed the crime alone.
He said, “When I was peeking into the bedroom with Sakai, he passed me, entered the bedroom, straddled the sleeping Ms. A, and stabbed her right away. After that, he told me to ‘hold him down,’ so I tried to hold him down. But before I could hold him down, Mr. A already got up. I tried to run away, but Mr. A caught me and I didn’t resist. I was not able to escape because Mr. A’s strength suddenly weakened and he let go of my hand.
On the other hand, Ms. A, who appeared in court as a witness, described the situation at the time as follows.
I was sleeping and woke up when I felt something blocking my mouth. I was asleep, and I woke up because I felt like my mouth was blocked, like I was not supposed to speak. My family was there, so the first thing I did was resist. I got up and struggled with them, about halfway up. Then I took a position where I was the one who tightened up the neck. I looked at the doorway and saw another man standing there, holding what looked like a knife, so I knew it was a bad idea and let him go.”
It was not until later that he realized he had been stabbed.
My wife said to me, ‘You’re bleeding,’ and that’s when I got upset and stumbled into the living room. I didn’t feel any pain in my left chest. I was really upset and I think I was pumped up with adrenaline, but I think that’s what it felt like.”
Mr. A first thought he had been robbed when his mouth was covered, but it was only when the “robber” disappeared that he realized he had been stabbed in the chest.
In the first place, Konishi heard from Takita that her husband was verbally abusive and that his attitude toward their child was terrible, and believing them, she decided to “settle her grudge” by committing the murder on his behalf. She believed Takita’s story and accepted his request to commit murder on his “behalf,” but without confirming whether or not it was true. Mr. A revealed a completely different reality.
Before the incident, I had a debt problem. He had borrowed money in my name and in the names of my relatives without my permission. The total amount was more than 10 million yen. There was also a debt in my wife’s name. It was around February of last year that I found out that we had less than one million yen in consumer loans and black money ……. Until then, my wife had been managing all the household finances, but after I found out, I started to manage everything. I think my wife was somewhat dissatisfied.”
In the prosecution’s opening statement, he also stated, “It was discovered that defendant Takita had a total of 10 million yen in debt to Mr. A in secret. Thereafter, Mr. A began to manage the family finances and check Takita’s income and expenses, which made Takita increasingly dissatisfied with Mr. A.” It seems that Takita’s request to the “grudge-breaking agent” was a self-centered dissolution of his dissatisfaction with an event that was truly his own fault.
Konishi, who believed Takita’s lies and attempted to murder a complete stranger for a reward of 500,000 yen, was sentenced to eight years in prison (the suggested sentence is nine years). Conspiracy with Takita and Sakai was found, and whether or not Konishi covered Mr. A’s mouth at the time of the incident was also found, “excluding the possibility that Sakai stabbed Mr. A and immediately afterward held his mouth down”.
Konishi’s sentence has already been finalized. Sakai and Takita, who requested Ms. A’s murder, are expected to go on trial.
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.