A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison by the Saitama District Court for killing his 9-year-old stepson in September last year.
According to the court ruling on Friday, Yusuke Nagashima, then unemployed, strangled his stepson Ryosuke with a cord on the afternoon of Sept 17, Sankei Shimbun reported. The boy’s body was found early the next morning in a utility meter box opposite the family's apartment in Saitama, after his 42-year-old mother, a teacher, reported him missing the previous evening.
Nagashima, who moved in with the boy’s mother in December 2018 and married her in March 2019, had taken part in the search for the boy. He told his wife that Ryosuke had gone to an English conversation school, but did not return home at the expected time. The boy never arrived at the school.
After his arrest, Nagashima told police that he had scolded Ryosuke for losing his hat and the boy talked back to him. He said he lost his temper when Ryosuke told him "You're not my real father.”
The apartment complex is a housing facility for teachers located about 4 kilometers east of JR Omiya Station. The meter box where Ryosuke’s body was found was often used by children playing hide-and-seek, residents said.
Prosecutors had sought a 20-year prison term for Nagashima, while his defense asked for eight years, arguing that the crime was not premeditated.© Japan Today/Kyodo