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Man given reduced sentence for 2016 murders after mental examination

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A high court scrapped a life prison term for a man and sentenced him to 25 years in prison instead for the murders of three family members and the attempted murder of another in 2016 after it conducted a psychiatric examination on the 34-year-old.

    The Tokyo High Court ruled Yoshitaka Ikeya was not fully competent to be held responsible for stabbing and killing his grandmother Mari, 83, mother Misako, 62, and older sister Eri, 32, and injuring his father Hisakatsu, 63.

    "The defendant was in a state of diminished capacity under the heavy influence of a delusional disorder," Presiding Judge Yoshifumi Asayama said, adding he tried to kill the family members and himself amid delusions he was being bullied at his workplace.

    Ikeya was given a life sentence in July 2017 by the Hamamatsu branch of the Shizuoka District Court as it concluded he was able to take full criminal responsibility for his attacks.

    His defense team asked the high court to conduct a psychiatric examination on Ikeya.

    During the trial, the defense claimed Ikeya was mentally incompetent and unable to take criminal responsibility, but the high court rejected it, recognizing the attack as being premediated.

    Ikeya stabbed the three to death and injured his father with a knife at their home early on April 22, 2016, according to the ruling.

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