Man Sentenced to Death Over Deadly Arson Attack

Man Sentenced to Death Over Deadly Arson Attack

( – Kyoto Animation is one of Japan’s most popular animation houses. In 2019, one of its buildings became a death trap for dozens of employees. The man who started the fire has now been sentenced to death.

On January 25, Japanese Judge Keisuke Masuda sentenced Shinji Aoba to death for the murder of 36 people. The defendant admitted last year that he started the fire. He said that he didn’t realize so many people would lose their lives and stated he thought he “went too far.” His attorneys argued he didn’t deserve severe punishment because he was allegedly suffering from a mental health disorder at the time and didn’t know the difference between right and wrong.

The judge, however, didn’t buy it. Masuda stated Aoba was not “insane nor suffering from diminished mental health capacity at the time of the crime.” He also told the defendant that the survivors of the fire saw terrible things, like their “colleagues engulfed in flames.” The judge stated they are “tormented by feelings of guilt and remorse.”

The fire began when Aoba entered the Kyoto Animation building and began spraying a flammable liquid. While he was spraying the liquid, he screamed, “Die!” at the scared employees. Then he lit the flammable liquid, and the building went up in flames. It took firefighters hours to put out the blaze, and dozens of people were also injured.

Aoba was one of the people injured. He suffered burns on 90% of his body and had to undergo 12 surgeries. Authorities arrested him after he healed from his injuries.

Prosecutors alleged Aoba attacked the building because he thought his work was stolen. He claimed the company plagiarized a novel that he’d entered into one of their competitions. The defendant said that at the time, he didn’t think he had any other option but to do what he did.

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