crime

Mother who drowned 11-month-old daughter in bathtub ruled mentally fit to stand trial

13 Comments

Prosecutors in Kushiro, Hokkaido, have indicted a 33-year-old woman who was arrested in April on suspicion of killing her 11-month-old daughter by drowning her in the bathtub at their apartment, after she underwent psychiatric tests to determine if she was mentally fit to stand trial.

According to the indictment, Miho Kawaguchi drowned her daughter Kaede sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on April 23, Sankei Shimbun reported. She then called 110. Kaede was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

After her arrest, Kawaguchi was quoted by police as saying she was stressed from child-raising. Her husband was at work during the day.

Local media reported that Kawaguchi had consulted child welfare authorities over anxieties she felt about child-rearing soon after Kaede was born. Child welfare center officials said she had been receiving guidance and that there had been no indication of child abuse.

Prosecutors decided to have Kawaguchi undergo psychiatric tests for two months to determine if she was competent to stand trial. On Friday, they decided to go ahead with the indictment.

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13 Comments
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 Child welfare center officials said she had been receiving guidance 

Obviously she wasn’t receiving enough ‘guidance’ from them.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Damn right she’s mentally fit. Hopefully she will go away for a long time

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Very sad, were there no family to help? Without knowing the level of help and support she received from the child welfare services it is hard to say whether they failed her or not.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Damn right she’s mentally fit. Hopefully she will go away for a long time

I hope she doesn't. It clearly relates to stress and mental instability. Prison will have no benefit of either punishment or deterrence in this case.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Good... now please, PLEASE don't just give her 1.8 years for infanticide. Give her life in prison.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

lock her up for the rest of her miserable life

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No excuse for that sort of evil. She should be executed.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

No excuse for that sort of evil. She should be executed.

She was clearly out of her mind. Obviously she must be punished, but her mental state at the time needs to be taken into consideration.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The person I feel the worst for is the husband. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to come home and find that your wife had drowned your infant child.

And people need to realize that being ruled competent for trial isn't the same as saying the accused is mentally fine. At least in the US, all you need to do to be ruled "mentally fit for trial" is for a psychiatrist to say that at the time of the crime, you knew the difference between right and wrong. You can be a complete, dyed-in-the-wool psychopath and mental wreck and still be found competent if the court deems that you were of sound enough mind to know right from wrong. Not an excuse, just pointing out that while this woman was found competent for trial, she likely still has some very severe mental problems.

A tragedy all around...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People like that shouldn't have kids if they can't deal with it.

And why didn't the husband notice anything?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There are so many other alternatives than killing your children. Why do so many parents particularly mothers choose murder?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Ken Wyatt

He didn't notice anything because he was at work when she drowned the infant. It's literally sentence #6 in the article. If you asking if he missed any possible red flags, I would say we don't know if there even WERE any obvious red flags, especially since this seems to be a spur-of-the-moment act. And even if there were red flags, they are generally not NEARLY as obvious in the moment as they are in retrospect.

Also, who would look at their own partner and think "Hmmm, I wonder if she's planning to kill our child?", honestly? Your wife/husband/significant other might be a secret serial killer, but I guarantee you've never seriously considered that outlandish possibility.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

who would look at their own partner and think "Hmmm, I wonder if she's planning to kill our child?", honestly?

I’m sure some do, but for the most part humans tendencies are to not believe the worst in a person. Most people, even if the signs are there, are naturally inclined to want to believe the best, not the worst.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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