The Yokohama District Court has acquitted a 41-year-old man accused of killing a 60-year-old man on the street in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, in 2017.
The defendant, Akihito Oishi, was indicted for murder after he was charged with fatally stabbing Takayuki Matsuoka multiple times at around 11:30 p.m. on Dec 12, 2017, near his home in Minami Ward.
An eyewitness told police that Matsuoka was involved in a scuffle with another man, who began wielding a knife. After stabbing Matsuoka, the assailant ran to a bicycle and rode away in the direction of Zama.
Police said Oishi surfaced as a suspect after they examined street surveillance camera footage, which showed someone who resembled him riding bike to and from the scene of the crime at around the time it happened. He also fit the description of the man seen by the witness.
However, Oishi denied the charge.
During the trial, prosecutors claimed that Oishi was “obviously the criminal” because his glasses were found at the crime scene and his bicycle with blood matching the victim’s was found in his apartment’s bicycle parking lot, Fuji TV reported.
According to the court ruling, handed down on Friday, the presiding judge said that finding Oishi’s glasses at the crime scene doesn’t mean he dropped them when Matsuoka was killed. Oishi had told police he didn't remember where he lost his glasses and that he had not used his bike that night.
The court agreed that there was not enough evidence to prove that Oishi did, in fact, use the bicycle on the night of the murder.© Japan Today