Nicola Furlong Case: 19-Year-Old Guilty of Murder in Japan
The family of Nicola Furlong feels justice has not been served after the 19-year-old American musician on trial in their daughter’s death was sentenced to 5-10 years with labor, less 120-days for time served in detention, for murder. This sentence is what the Prosecutor, Kenji Horikoshi, called for during the closing arguments of trial.
“The presiding judge, Masayuki Ashizawa, described the crime as “atrocious and vicious” and said that the fact that Ms Furlong was “strangled with force for several minutes” showed murderous “intent.” The judge also said that Mr Hinds testimony was “not credible, had shown no sign of remorse and had tainted the honour of the victim.”
While harsher sentencing options were available, Judge Ashizawa said that “the tendency of sentencing in juvenile cases [means that] we can’t choose the death penalty or life imprisonment.”
Ms. Furlong’s 19-year-old sister had called for the death penalty. After hearing of the verdict she criticized the sentence as too short saying:
“I am so angry and I am so hurt, we had so much faith in the Japanese doing justice for us and I don’t feel we got it, I am disgusted.” “We will never know the truth as to what happened in that room because he just won’t ‘man up’ and tell us the truth.”
Black Tokyo previously calculated that the teen:“could also be sentenced under “manslaughter” guidelines and be sentenced to five or more years in prison. Life imprisonment and the death penalty were only options if he were to be sentenced as an adult.
The Independent.ie also reported that the friend of Nicola Furlong told the lay-jury:
“I have never taken drugs and because I have never become unconscious from alcohol the only reason I can think of is that someone put something into my drink.”
The Independent.ie reported: “But blood and urine tests on the friend did not show any trace of a date rape drug, and while Ms. Furlong’s blood tested positive for two drugs that have been implicated in date rape cases there was an innocent explanation for them.”
“But today’s verdict said the concentration of Alprazolam, the active ingredient in the anxiety suppressant Xanax, was “well below” the normal prescription range and could not have been a factor in Ms Furlong’s death.
“The victim was still breathing and her heart was still beating at the time she was being choked,” it said. “Death was caused by suffocation after strangulation by a towel or ligature. This is certain, based on common sense.”
The verdict accepted that Hinds had tried to help Ms Furlong after the strangulation but said this was “only natural” and “did not mitigate” the fact that he intended to murder her.
“The defendant knew that what he was doing was highly dangerous and could lead to death. [He] also knew what the results of his actions would be. It can be concluded that he intended to kill the victim.”"
After expressing displeasure with the sentence given to convicted American, Nicola Furlong’s mother stated that once she is stronger…
“She will contact the lawyers and try and get further blood tests done to try to determine the substance that was put into the tequila that night and that has not yet shown up in laboratory analysis.
The following BT’ers contributed to BT’s reporting of the Nicola Furlong death investigation: @blacktokyo, @onmugen @starrwulfe @ogPegasus303
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