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Questions Remain in the Nicola Furlong Trial: What’s in the Toxicology Report?

nicola-furlong

Here is the latest in the trial of the American held in the death of Irish exchange student, Nicola Furlong:

It has been reported that “the man accused of murdering Wexford student Nicola Furlong (21) in a hotel in Tokyo last May denied this morning that he was the cause of her death saying, he had no “intent, motive or reason to hurt, harm or kill her,” according to the Independent.ie.

Citing blood tests that show the presence of drugs and alcohol in Ms Furlong’s blood, the defence lawyer said that it is “not clear” how she died. He said “there is a strong possibility that she died from mixture of drugs and alcohol.” The court heard evidence from a barman that the women drank three tequilas and had a red bull and vodka bought for them but he wasn’t sure if they drank that.

Black Tokyo previously questioned whether Ms. Furlong and her friend had their drinks spiked or whether they had used recreational drugs which are available in the Shibuya district.

What if the statement about the young women leaving and returning “suddenly drunk or in a high state.” turns out to be true in the course of the investigation? It does not detract from the fact the young Ms. Furlong lost her life shortly after the concert. It does, however, lead one to wonder if Rohypnol, Flunitrazepam or GHB is listed in the Furlong toxicology report or if traces of the drug are found in Ms. Furlong’s friend’s system, could there be more than what has been reported? Could either Rohypnol or GHB been ingested in another form? Does it mean that the two men currently under arrest for quasi-forcible indecency spiked the women’s drinks as currently assumed? Again, this does not explain how Ms. Furlong ended up on the floor in a hotel unconscious and later pronounced dead, but it does leave other questions unanswered. The most important part is to establish how Ms. Furlong died. If it is determined that someone is responsible, let justice run its course and punish that person!

(click here for more on this story).

The case against the American accused of murder will run for two-weeks with the verdict to be delivered on 19 March. Mr. James Blackston, who has already been tried for assaulting Ms. Nicola Furlong’s friend, will be sentenced on March 13, 2013. In a recent groping incident, an American sailor that groped two Japanese women was fined 300,000 yen ($3,209) by a Yokosuka court on Feb. 19, though he was never formally arrested by police. Mr. Blackston faces a maximum of four years on charges of sexually assaulting Furlong’s friend in a separate room. Both men were charged with Article 178, “Quasi Forcible Indecency or Quasi Rape” of Ms. Furlong’s “intoxicated” friend while the group were in a taxi. Ms. Furlong’s friend has previously stated that she has trouble recalling much of the events of the night. It was also reported that, “She probably witnessed (much of what happened) but she can’t remember it for some reason.” As reported by an anonymous source, “The other girl (Ms. Furlong’s friend) knew where she was just really “out of it.”. (For more information on the possible cause of death, charges and punishment click here.)

According to the Irish Times:

“In their summation, prosecutors said multiple testimony and evidence from surveillance cameras proved Ms Furlong, described as ‘Victim A’, was forcibly brought to Mr Blackston’s hotel room.

“There is absolutely no reason to believe the defendant’s claim that the victim was interested in him,” they said. The court previously heard that Ms Furlong and her friend were unconscious when they arrived by taxi at the hotel and that the two men borrowed wheelchairs to carry them to their rooms.

Surveillance footage shows Mr Blackston groping the victim in the back of a taxi on the way to the hotel and records him using explicit sexual language, apparently intent on assaulting her.

In response, Mr Blackston’s defence demanded a not guilty verdict for both assaults, saying the victims’ testimony was “not credible”. Lawyer Tsutomu Nakamura said the taxi footage was inconclusive. “The conversation recorded was meaningless. People say lots of things when they’re drunk.”

He added that video surveillance taken in the hotel elevator on the way to the rooms showed Ms Furlong reviving and making “no verbal of physical attempt to resist”.

Mr Nakamura said the victim wanted to hide the fact that she was sexually interested in his client and went to his room voluntarily. “She told so many lies in his testimony,” he added.

In his final deposition to the court, Mr. Blackston said he felt “sorrow” for the victim “and the passing away of her friend”.

He added: “My fiancé and the rest of my family are patiently waiting for me to come home.”

The prosecutors failed to produce police toxicology reports that might have proved suspicions that the women’s drinks were spiked at a bar after attending a rap concert. Mr Blackston and his defence team have consistently argued that the women drank too much and went to the hotel voluntarily.”

It still remains that some of the information reported by newspapers is seemingly reported in a “cut and dry” manner, such as what thejournal.ie recently reported:

“The pair missed their train home, and later met two Americans in the busy Shinjuku train station, with whom they travelled back to the Keio Plaza Hotel, where Furlong was found dead the following morning.”

Black Tokyo had previously reported that “missing a train,” especially after a concert held outside of central Tokyo is difficult at best unless you are not cognizant of the time or drunk off your butt and therefore not cognizant of anything.

As previously stated:

With that said, some people have accused Black Tokyo of trying to punch holes in the Furlong story. Collectively, the BT team is only trying to fill the gaps. For example, we know that there is a reason why the concerts start early and end early at Zepp Tokyo, so people can catch the train home! We also know that after parties in Tokyo can typically start after midnight since the artist and crew return to the hotel to prep for the next event and due to many Tokyo clubs closing at 5 or 6 a.m., just in time for party-goers to catch the first train home. If Ms. Furlong’s friend could not give a statement to the police, who stated that the women missed the train? The young women’s parents? Ms. Furlong’s boyfriend? The police? It is a simple and honest question especially in light of some in the media stating the women were pushed, carried or forced in the taxi. That insinuates kidnapping. A drugging , kidnapping, rape, and murder of a white woman by two Black men. I should add, “from the “notorious South Central L.A.,” as reported in some newspapers. You get the picture! We do too! We are standing by to see how the investigation runs its course and what the toxicology reports will reveal.

(Click here for the timeline constructed by Black Tokyo detailing concerts in Tokyo, the train system, taxis and the Keio Plaza Hotel.)

As reported by the Mail Online:

“Prosecutors, who claim the accused strangled Ms Furlong with a towel, said he and Blackston got the two women drunk and may have drugged them before taking them by taxi to a hotel in central Tokyo, where they borrowed wheelchairs to get the unconscious women to their rooms. Ms Furlong was later found unconscious in her room after another guest complained of a loud noise.
She died after being taken to hospital.”

Click here for pictures and the more of story.

As Black Tokyo has conveyed in various posts and tweets, this is a senseless death of a person just starting out in life. The entire event is unfortunate and painful to all parties involved. As before, Black Tokyo sends its condolences to the Furlong family.

While there are rampant allegations, racist remarks, stereotypical assumptions and misogynistic views regarding this case, I have not heard or seen a timeline of events that occurred during that unfortunate night Ms. Furlong lost her life. The timeline or reports via Japanese news, wide shows and other forms of Japanese media are quite common. In Black Tokyo’s opinion, had the death been that of a Japanese woman at the hands of a foreigner, especially a Black American foreigner or a member of the United States military in Japan, there would have been a plethora of simulations, theories, depictions, reports and other information on a daily basis. It is important to learn the truth, help the Furlong family find some sense of closure and ensure that justice is served not only for the sake of the victim but also to the accused.

Here is the J7TV: Nicola Furlong Case-Tokyo roundtable #1 Google Hangout hosted by J7 discussing the Nicola Furlong case:

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The following BT’ers contributed to BT’s reporting of the Nicola Furlong death investigation: @blacktokyo, @onmugen @starrwulfe @ogPegasus303

Have inquiries, an opinion or rant? Feel free to join the discussion via Disqus below.

Click here for additional Black Tokyo posts on the investigation into the death of Nicola Furlong.

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1 comment on “Questions Remain in the Nicola Furlong Trial: What’s in the Toxicology Report?”

  1. CC

    Yes the Irish media are cut and dry about the the murder. European journalism has always being like that. Toxicology report has being released in court today showing Ms Furlong had xanax and lidocaine in her blood. The date rape drug.

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