Written with extracts translated from NHK
February 10th 2020
YOKOHAMA– The trial of a man accused of killing 19 people and injuring 24 others at a care home in Sagamihara City on July 26th 2016, resumed on February 10th.
Satoshi Uematsu, aged 30, has pleaded not guilty to killing 19 residents and injuring dozens more at the Tsukui Lily Garden facility for people with disabilities in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
On February 10th, a physician who had examined the defendant’s mental condition through interviews, at the request of the defendant’s lawyer went to court and answered questions from the defendant’s lawyer and prosecutor.
The physician stated, “The defendant had used cannabis frequently for about a year before the incident, and was in a state of cannabis abuse.”
The physician went on to say, that, “As a result of prolonged use of cannabis, there is thought to be a ‘cannabis psychiatric disorder’ that produces symptoms such as delusions and thought disorders. His personality at that time was unrelated to his earlier personality, and we should not underestimate the impact of marijuana use on the crime. ”
The physician went on to say that “The leap of ideas to ‘kill the disabled on their own’ is thought to be the effect of a morbid pathology from cannabis. A systematic incident does not deny that it was a state of cannabis mental illness. ”
The defendant was in attendance at the trial wearing a black suit.