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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Case against Miura dismissed

October 15, 2008|From the Associated Press

A judge Tuesday formally dismissed the case against a Japanese businessman who hanged himself in a jail cell while awaiting trial for allegedly plotting his wife's death 27 years ago during a visit to Los Angeles.

Kazuyoshi Miura, 61, was found dead Friday, four days before he was to be arraigned on a charge of conspiring to commit murder.

A police report indicated that no foul play was suspected and that Miura did not leave a note.

Miura was last seen alive by an officer who checked his jail cell Friday night. Less than 10 minutes later, a detention officer found him hanging "with a ligature around his neck at one end of the bunk bed," according to a police report attached to the dismissal order.

Police have said the ligature was made from pieces of Miura's shirt.

The case began Nov. 18, 1981, when Miura and his wife, Kazumi, were shot in downtown Los Angeles after a day of sightseeing. Miura was hit in the leg and recovered, but his wife was shot in the head and died after lingering in a coma for a year.

Miura was convicted in 1994 in Japan of plotting his wife's death and was sentenced to life in prison, but the Japanese Supreme Court reversed the case and acquitted Miura in 2003.

Los Angeles County charged Miura with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in 1988. He was arrested in February during a trip to the U.S. territory of Saipan and extradited to face the conspiracy charge.

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