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Robbery leads to murder; JSDF sergeant arrested

Date Posted: 2005-06-04

The non-commissioned officer says he only intended to rob the victim, and not kill him.

Naha Police say the victim was lured from a Makishi pachinko parlor, beaten and stabbed, then abandoned in the street last February 26th. The victim was found and taken to a hospital, where he later died. Investigation led police to Sergeant Takuya Hara several days ago.

The victim, police discovered, had \200,000-300,000 in his possession while at the gaming parlor, where he was termed “a regular”. Security tapes from the pachinko hall showed the victim leaving the premises with a man whose appearance was the same as Hara’s.

Investigators found that Hara was deeply in debt, owing about \3 million from a civilian loan company, and another \500,000 from the Army Self Defense Force Benefit Association. When questioned, Hara first denied involvement, or even knowing the victim. After a search of his home turned up a pair of shoes with blood and DNA matching the victim’s, Hara confessed. Hara tells police he did not intend to harm the victim, but only rob him. He said the victim turned out to be a much larger man, so he used an umbrella to protect himself. Hara says he stabbed the victim accidentally with the umbrella.

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