1252 GMT September 20, 2019
The defendant, who was 18 at the time of the crime, was arrested along with another 18-year-old youth and a 17-year-old youth. None them can be named because they are minors, japantoday.com reported.
The Chiba District Court said in its ruling on Thursday that the defendant, who worked in the construction industry, was the ringleader, Sankei Shimbun reported. The other two suspects will be tried separately.
The court heard that the three admitted to entering the house of Yoshiko Shiino with the intention of robbing her sometime on the night of February 23, 2018. The body of Shiino was found at around 9:00 a.m., local time, the next morning by her daughter-in-law who called 110 — emergency number for calling police in Japan.
The front door to the house was not locked. Prosecutors said Shiino had been hit several times by a blunt object and stabbed. A bloodied knife was left at the scene of the crime.
Shiino lived with her oldest daughter who had been recently hospitalized, so she was living alone at the time of the incident, police said. She was last seen alive by her son at around 5:00 p.m. on the day of the murder.
The three suspects, two of whom had no fixed address, said they did not know Shiino but thought she might have a lot of money and other valuables in the house.