Lawyers for former SDF member dispute charge in Toyama police murder

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A former member of the Self-Defense Forces accused of killing a policeman in 2018 in central Japan and then gunning down a security guard at a nearby school with the officer’s gun, had not initially planned to take weapon, his defense team argued in court on Thursday.

Keita Shimazu, 24, who was working in a restaurant part-time at the time of the attack, faces a murder-theft charge in connection with the stabbing of Kenichi Inaizumi, 46, at a police station in Toyama City, and the theft of his handgun on June 26, 2018.

“His intention to steal the handgun arose after the murder,” one of his lawyers said at the first hearing of Shimazu’s trial, saying he should instead face charges of murder and separate robbery for assault on the officer, who was chief of police. box.

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Shimazu attended the hearing at the Toyama District Court but refused to speak, refusing to identify himself or to argue the charges.

He was sitting in a wheelchair, having been paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury after being shot by a police officer before his capture.

Toyama City Police Station whose police chief was stabbed to death in June 2018. | KYODO

Prosecutors said Shimazu had a history of reclusive behavior from his high school years and was violent towards his parents.

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They claimed that he developed a feeling of hatred towards the police when officers came to his home because of his violence.

Increasingly desperate after assaulting the manager of the restaurant where he worked earlier in the day, he “tried to show his power by winning a victory over a policeman who was in possession of a gun,” said prosecutors.

In addition to the attack on Inaizumi, Shimazu was accused of gunning down Shinichi Nakamura, a 68-year-old security guard at a nearby elementary school, with the weapon he took from the officer, and of shooting at another security guard.

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Although his mental skills were at the heart of the high-profile case, prosecutors found him criminally responsible after a four-month assessment.

The court is due to render its decision on Shimazu, who served as a member of the Ground Self-Defense Force for two years until March 2017, March 5.

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