A 36-year-old man has been sentenced to death for killing his wife and five children at their home in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, in 2017.
The ruling in the lay judge trial at the Mito District Court was handed down Wednesday against Hirobumi Komatsu, who had told the court during his trial last month that he has no memory of the crime, Fuji TV reported. His defense team argued that he had suffered permanent amnesia since his detention.
Komatsu was initially arrested on suspicion of killing one of his children on Oct 6, 2017. He was ordered to undergo three months of psychiatric tests to determine if he could be held criminally responsible for his actions.
The court heard that test results showed Komatsu knew what he was doing and he was indicted on Saturday.
After his arrest, Komatsu told police he had killed his wife because she wanted a divorce. He said he then set a room in the apartment on fire with a cigarette lighter after sprinkling gasoline. The fire was put out about an hour later, having burned an area of about 7 square meters.
Komatsu's then 33-year-old wife Megumi and their five children -- 11-year-old daughter Mua, 7-year-old son Takara, 5-year-old son Ryua, and 3-year-old twin boys Rairu and Reiru -- were found dead in the room.
Autopsies showed the six died from loss of blood caused by stab wounds and smoke inhalation following the fire.© Japan Today