Former Yokohama nurse gets life sentence for murder of three patients

The Yokohama District Court on Tuesday sentenced a former nurse to life in prison for killing three patients by putting a disinfectant into their intravenous drips at a Yokohama hospital in 2016.

The court handed down the ruling on Ayumi Kuboki, 34, who admitted during the high-profile trial to murdering the patients by mixing an antiseptic solution into their drip bags at the hospital where she worked.

Ayumi Kuboki | KYODO
Ayumi Kuboki | KYODO

Kuboki’s defense counsel sought a life sentence, arguing the former nurse had a diminished capacity at the time of the crimes in September 2016 due to suffering schizophrenia.

Prosecutors demanded the death penalty. They said Kuboki exhibited traits of autism spectrum disorder, but she was fully competent to stand trial and that it did not affect her decision-making or play a part in her crimes.

According to the indictment, Kuboki intentionally killed three inpatients — Sozo Nishikawa, 88, Asae Okitsu, 78, and Nobuo Yamaki, 88 — at the institution formerly named Oguchi Hospital by introducing the antiseptic solution to their IV drip bags.

During one of the hearings, Kuboki said, “In order to avoid being accused by family members if patients died during my work hours, I made it so they would die when I was off duty.”

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