MySpace site offers insight into life of sailor accused in killing of taxi driver
April 11, 2008
Olatunbosun Ugbogu is now known around the world as the U.S. sailor and Nigerian national who reportedly admitted stabbing a Japanese taxi driver to death last month.
To friends, Ugbogu is known as Kenny from Irvington, N.J., according to a profile posted on the MySpace social networking Web site.
The public will get a closer look at Ugbogu on Friday, when he is scheduled to step before a Japanese court to make a statement about the crime, his attorney, Yasutoshi Murakami, said Tuesday.
Murakami said Ugbogu suffers from mental illness and hears voices. Japanese police said he likely will be prosecuted for robbery and murder.
Photographs of Ugbogu posted on MySpace show him scowling, showing off gem-encrusted jewelry and pressing a $100 bill to the chest of another man.
The online profile, listed under "LAZZZZZYYYY!!!," also has 51 friends and contains a photograph of what appears to be an M-60 machine gun over the caption "my … toy."
Ugbogu was handed over to Japanese authorities last week in connection with the March 19 stabbing death of 61-year-old Masaaki Takahashi in an alley in Yokosuka’s Shioiri neighborhood.
Takahashi was stabbed in the neck with a kitchen knife and bled to death in the front seat of his taxicab, his seat belt still fastened, according to police reports.
Ugbogu, a seaman aboard the USS Cowpens, was declared absent without leave on March 10 and taken into U.S. custody March 22. He was handed over to Japanese authorities April 3.
He admitted to stabbing Takahashi, authorities said, but has yet to be officially charged with a crime.
Ugbogu is suspected of trying to avoid paying a $195 cab fare, and Japanese police said he could likely be indicted and prosecuted for robbery-murder, which could mean the death penalty or life in prison.
Murakami said he will make a public plea to prosecutors Friday to abandon any robbery charges against Ugbogu because the seaman is mentally ill and did not take any money from the taxi.
In the 30 photos posted online, Ugbogu is often posing alone with sunglasses or partying with others and mugging for the camera. Some photos are labeled Japan and Korea.
The profile was last accessed by the owner on March 13, about 12 days after Ugbogu went missing from the Cowpens and three days before Takahashi’s murder.
One of the last comments from a profile friend is an invitation to rap shows in Yokosuka and the Shibuya section of Tokyo in January.