Japan's "black widow" serial killer was today sentenced to death by hanging for killing her husband and two common-law partners.
Yesterday, presiding judge Akiko Nakagawa said: "It was an extremely malicious and shrewd crime borne only out of a greed for money". The defense had also argued that Kakehi could not be held responsible as she had developed symptoms of early-onset dementia at the time of the murders. The defense filed an appeal.
Kakehi's defense lawyers pleaded "not guilty" to the charges on the ground that Kakehi was not criminally liable because she was suffering from dementia.
Poison was found in the body of at least two men she was involved with, and police reportedly found traces of cyanide in rubbish at Kakchi's home.
While dismissing the possibility of suicide, accident or the involvement of persons other than Kakehi in the cases, the judge said the accused took extraordinary acts, such as inheritance procedures, soon after the incidents.
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In the first public hearing, Kakehi said she would leave everything to her lawyers, but her statements lacked coherence and she once admitted to committing murder during proceedings.
Ms Kakehi was accused of murdering her fourth husband, 75-year-old Isao Kakehi, on 28 December 2013, a month after they got married.
Nakagawa pointed out that Kakehi "made light of human lives" as she repeatedly committed the crimes.
Like the venomous spider that kills its mate after copulation, 70-year-old Chisako Kakehi formed relationships with elderly men and then tricked them into drinking cyanide to collect the insurance money, reports Kyodo News.
She later registered with a matchmaking service, specifically asking to meet wealthy men with an annual income of more than ¥10 million ($87,900). He died on Dec 28, 2013, only a month after their marriage.
Her first husband died in 1994 and the business later went bust, prompting her to take out massive loans. The 135-day trial was Japan's second-longest court case of its kind since 2009, when the nation instituted a judge-jury system.