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11-Year-Old Killer Locked Up

September 16, 2004|From Associated Press

TOKYO — A family court has sentenced an 11-year-old girl to a state-run juvenile correctional facility in eastern Japan for killing a classmate with a box cutter, an official said Wednesday.

In a closed-door session, judges at the Nagasaki prefecture Family Court ordered the girl to undergo counseling as part of a rehabilitation program at the facility in Tochigi prefecture, just north of Tokyo, the court official said on condition of anonymity.

It was unclear how long she might have to stay. The girls' facility is one of only two juvenile institutions -- the other is for boys -- in Japan that have cells. Her case was expected to be reviewed later, based on recommendations from counselors and psychiatrists.

The sixth-grader has been in juvenile detention since early June, when she led 12-year-old classmate Satomi Mitarai to an empty classroom during their lunch hour, slit her throat and arms with a box cutter, and left her to bleed to death.

Investigators believe the two had exchanged nasty messages over the Internet.

Under Japanese law, she cannot be tried for criminal responsibility because she is younger than 14. The family court ruled on her case after she underwent psychiatric tests.

The girl's name was not released because she is a juvenile.

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