A 34-year-old former nurse at a hospital was sentenced to life in prison in Yokohama on Tuesday for killing three terminally ill patients by injecting a disinfectant into their intravenous drip bag.
The Yokohama District Court handed down the ruling against Ayumi Kuboki, who had pleaded guilty at the start of her trial, Fuji TV reported. Prosecutors had sought a death sentence.
Kuboki was found guilty of killing Nobuo Yamaki and Sozo Nishikawa, both 88, who were in the same terminal-care ward at Oguchi Hospital, as well as Asae Okitsu, 78.
Kuboki worked at the hospital, which has since been renamed Yokohama Hajime Hospital, from mid-2015 until early 2017. Prosecutors said that between July and Sept 20, 2016, 48 patients died at the hospital, including five patients on a single day in late August and four on one day in early September, but Kuboki has only admitted to killing three patients.
After her arrest, Kuboki said she injected the disinfectant into their drips so they would die when she was off duty. She told police that if the patients died while she was not at work, she wouldn’t have to go through the ordeal of discussing their deaths with bereaved family members.
Kuboki was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation for three months after her arrest and although she showed signs of autism, she was judged mentally fit to stand trial and responsible for her actions.