A 70-year-old man was sentenced to 17 years in prison by a panel of professional and lay judges in the Chiba District Court on Monday after being found guilty of stabbing his neighbor to death in August last year.
Kiichi Hayashi, a resident of Funabashi City, was found guilty of stabbing his 64-year-old female neighbor twice on Aug 27 following an argument on the street over his feeding of stray cats. The woman had repeatedly told Hayashi not to feed the cats and Hayashi became angry, attacking the woman. He claimed she had bad-mouthed him around the neighborhood.
It was the first murder case to be tried under the lay judge system in Chiba Prefecture. Defense argued that the man was lonely and that the cats were his only companions, while the prosecution said the man made no effort to associate with his neighbors.
A 67-year-old man who served as a lay judge in the case said afterwards that he thought many people felt the need for stricter sentences, and was satisfied with the result.© News reports