29-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi, dubbed the "Twitter Killer" has acknowledged that the charges against him related to the killing and dismemberment of 9 people in his apartment outside of Tokyo are "correct."
His defense team, however, is arguing that he killed those people with their permission as they had expressed suicidal inclinations on Twitter, saying that he is guilty of the lesser charge of homicide with consent.
The prosecution is arguing that Shiraishi committed "despicable and brutal murders to satisfy his desires" without the permission of the victims in order to steal their money. He is additionally charged with sexually assaulting the female victims, which account for 8 of his 9 victims.
The indictment indicates that the murders took place between August and October 2017, by means of strangulation. The victims ranged in age between 15 and 26-years-old.
According to investigators, Shiraishi contacted individuals on Twitter with an account that loosely translated to "Hangman" after they had expressed suicidal thoughts and offered to help them die. In order to implement his plan, he was said to have purchases specific tools including a chopper and saw.
Shirashi was arrested on October 31, 2017, one day after the dismembered remains of his victims were discovered in his apartment.
Between the time of his arrest and his formal indictment in September 2018, Shiraishi underwent five months of mental evaluation. At the conclusion of those tests, he was ruled to be criminally liable.
The case is scheduled to be handled as 24 individual hearings, in chronological order of the crimes committed over the course of 77 days, and a sentence is expected to be handed down on December 15, 2020.