Fukuoka Stalking Murder Suspect Partially Denies Charges

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Fukuoka District Court

Fukuoka, June 17 (Jiji Press) — A man suspected of stalking and killing a woman in Fukuoka pleaded not guilty to the stalking charge at the first hearing held by a district court in the southwestern Japan city on Monday.

During the first session of the lay judge trial at Fukuoka District Court, the 32-year-old defendant, Susumu Terauchi, admitted to the charge of stabbing former girlfriend Miki Kawano, then 32, to death on a street near JR Hakata Station in January last year.

But he denied that he was lurking. His defense lawyer claimed that Terauchi is not guilty of stalking because he did not hold grudges against Kawano.

On the other hand, prosecutors pointed out that Terauchi repeatedly phoned the victim after she broke up with him, prompting Fukuoka prefectural police to issue a prohibition order under the antistalking law against him.

Then they said he waited for Kawano to appear from her workplace and followed her for more than 100 meters, before stabbing her 17 times with a cooking knife.

The dense, for its part, argued that Terauchi was walking near her workplace by chance in order to pay a mobile phone bill and that the knife used in the incident was for self-defense, denying that the murder was premeditated.

The indictment said Terauchi lurked and stalked Kawauchi on her way back home from work in January 2023 and that he stabbed her in the chest and other places multiple times with a knife on the evening of Jan. 16 on the street in the city’s Hakata Ward, leading to her death from blood loss.

The district court has already found him guilty of attacking and seriously hurting a man on a street in the same ward.

If Terauchi gets a guilty verdict in the stalking-murder lay judge trial, the court will determine a sentence by taking into account the assault incident as well.