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Alzheimer’s Patient Who Says He Doesn’t Remember Killing His Granddaughter Sentenced to Jail in Japan

An Alzheimer’s patient in Japan who says he has no recollection of killing his granddaughter nearly two years ago has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Susumu Tomizawa, 88, had a fight with his 16-year-old granddaughter, Tomomi, at their home in Fukui prefecture on September 9, 2020. On the same evening, he took a 6.69-inch kitchen knife long and went to his room, where he stabbed her multiple times in the neck.

Police responded to the scene after Tomizawa called his eldest son and claimed to have found Tomomi’s bloodied body.

Tomizawa admitted to killing his granddaughter, but he said he did not remember what they were fighting or killing her because of her Alzheimer’s disease.

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The 88-year-old’s mental state became a major factor in his closely watched trial as judges debated whether or not he knowingly killed Tomomi. Tomizawa had also been to drink a lot the night of the incident.

Hiroki Nakagawa, a forensic psychiatrist, confirmed that Tomizawa’s condition likely did not influence his crime based on his medical history.

“His actions were deliberate and consistent with his intent to kill,” Nakagawa said in court. “He had a motive for committing the crime, such as quarreling with Tomomi, and his actions were deliberate and consistent with his intent to kill, as he stabbed her in the neck.”

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Judge Yoshinobu Kawamura ruled that the old man was able to control his actions, citing the phone call he made to his son after killing Tomomi.

“The accused was in a state of mental exhaustion at the time of the crime and he had great difficulty in judging right or wrong or in dissuading himself from committing the crime, but he was not in a state where he did not couldn’t do it,” Kawamura said.

Tomizawa was sentenced to four years and six months in prison by the Fukui District Court on May 31. Japanese law punishes murder with a minimum sentence of five years, which can be increased to life imprisonment or the death penalty. Tomizawa’s sentence was reduced due to his illness.

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Featured image via Getty Images

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