Suspended sentence for woman who attempted to set captain on fire
August 17, 2003
HACHIOJI, Japan — A Tokyo District Court judge handed Kimiko Kishiguchi a suspended two-year prison sentence Friday for attempting to set a former Yokota Air Base captain on fire last year.
Judge Takeshi Kimura found Kishiguchi — a 27-year-old men’s club hostess — guilty of dousing Capt. Samuel A. Pupich, who is now assigned to a U.S. base, with a gasoline-kerosene mixture outside Fussa train station June 25, 2002.
According to police reports, Kishiguchi and Nanae In, a 33-year-old South Korean woman whom Pupich had met at a Tokyo bar, were at the station, where Pupich was to pick up In. When In opened the door to Pupich’s car, Kishiguchi doused the captain with fuel and tried to ignite it. In fled the scene and Pupich sped away, unharmed.
Fussa police arrested Kishiguchi and In in January and charged them with suspicion of attempted murder.
Prosecutors reduced the charges on Kishiguchi from attempted murder to “threats” and released In in January — with a caveat she remains under investigation and could still face legal proceedings.
Kishiguchi admitted to the accusations, but claimed In controlled her mind.
In his ruling, Kimura said Kishiguchi received the two-year sentence because the crime was premeditated and extremely dangerous.
“On the other hand, Kishiguchi regretted her act deeply and wrote a letter of apology to the victim and her mother promised that she will watch and oversee her daughter strictly,” the judge said. “Taking those things into consideration, I attach a stay of execution of three years.”
If Kishiguchi is convicted of any crime during the next three years, she’ll serve the two-year prison term along with any other sentence received.
The judge made Kishiguchi promise that she will never commit another crime.
Kishiguchi’s attorney, Mizuyo Nakagawa, said she was satisfied with the ruling.
Kishiguchi’s mother, Miyae, said she was relieved and that her daughter will not appeal the sentence to a higher court.