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Man who served 10 years for attempted murder goes on trial for 2006 killing

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A 39-year-old man who served a 10-year prison term for attempted murder, went on trial at the Yokohama District Court on Tuesday for killing a 27-year-old woman in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, in 2006.

According to the indictment by the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office, Hirokazu Suzuki stabbed Yuri Kuronuma in Kawasaki on Sept 23, 2006.

Suzuki, who was jailed for 10 years for attempting to kill a 40-year-old woman by stabbing her in the back in Kawasaki in April 2007, hinted at his involvement in Kuronuma's murder in a postcard he sent to the Kanagawa prefectural police in January 2016, Kyodo News reported.

He later admitted to the crime during voluntary questioning and was rearrested in October 2017 after his prison term ended, on suspicion of murdering Kuronuma. At the time, Suzuki said he decided to confess to the 2006 crime after suffering a stroke.

The indictment said Suzuki stabbed Kuronuma in the stomach and chest while they were on a sidewalk inside a tunnel in Kawasaki.

The move to charge him came after it was judged during a four-month evaluation which ended in March 2018 that he can be held criminally responsible.

In an opening statement Tuesday, Suzuki told the court that he meant to kill the woman when he stabbed her in the stomach but then contradicted himself and said there was no intent to kill when he stabbed her in the chest.

A verdict is expected to be handed down on Dec 13.

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It's been 20 months since it was determined that he could be held criminally responsible.  What on earth could make this process take so long?

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