Entries in Nicola Furlong (2)


Japan Murder Arrest: American Teenager Likely to Remain Behind Bars

(Image Credit: Facebook)(NEW YORK) -- The American teenager arrested in connection with the killing of a young Irish woman in Japan will likely face a difficult court battle in a country that has a nearly 100 percent conviction rate.

Police have 20 days to decide whether to charge 19-year-old Richard Hinds with murder. He’s expected to remain behind bars until then, because bail is rarely granted to foreigners arrested in Japan.

Hinds was arrested on suspicion of killing 21-year-old Irish exchange student Nicola Furlong in her hotel room in the Shinjuku area on May 24.

Furlong was found strangled at the Keio Plaza Hotel, following a night out with friends, attending a concert by rapper Nicki Minaj. Police say a hotel employee went to check on Furlong’s room, after hearing a loud noise, and found her lying on the floor, with Hinds standing nearby.

“There’s no fooling around in Japan.  They have a 99.9 [percent] conviction rate,” legal analyst Dana Cole told ABC News. “So normally when you’re arrested for a serious crime, you’re going nowhere.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department told ABC News that Hinds has admitted strangling Furlong, but told investigators he had no intention to kill her.

Andrew Furlong, the victim’s father, was interviewed by police in Japan last weekend and has requested the death penalty not be applied to Hinds, a relative told the Irish Times.

Capital punishment is legal in Japan, but is usually reserved for cases of multiple murders.

“He may be looking at ten to 15 years in custody.  Still a long time, but nothing compared to the U.S., which is typically life in prison,” Cole said.

Hinds and 23-year-old American James Blackston had already been in custody on suspicion of molesting Furlong’s female friend, also an Irish national, inside a taxi the night of the murder.

Police say they decided to additionally charge Hinds with the killing after reviewing Furlong’s autopsy and examining surveillance footage from inside the hotel, though investigators would not elaborate on details.

Minaj tweeted her support for the Furlong family, saying: “Saddened to learn one of my precious fans; found tragically murdered in Japan. My love & prayers are with the family of Nicola Furlong”

Furlong was studying in the city of Takasaki, about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo.

Hinds is a well known Christian musician in the Memphis area, but had traveled abroad to work as a backup dancer to a Japanese R&B artist, according to WPTY-TV in Memphis. He planned to return home on June 20 before he was arrested.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Americans Arrested in Tokyo Death Investigation

(Facebook)(NEW YORK) -- Tokyo police investigating the death of an Irish exchange student have arrested two American men, the Japan Times reported.

Nicola Furlong, 21, was found unconscious in an upscale Tokyo hotel room early Thursday morning after attending a Nicki Minaj concert with a 21-year-old female friend. Furlong was later pronounced dead, and an autopsy indicated she may have been strangled, according to the Japan Times.

Police said the women were invited out for drinks and then back to the Keio Plaza Hotel by two American men, a 23-year-old dancer and a 19-year-old musician. The 19-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was in the room when hotel staff found Furlong unconscious on the floor beside the bed after responding to noise complaints around 3:20 a.m., Japan's Mainichi reported.

Neither man has been charged in Furlong's death. Rather, both were charged with indecent assault on Furlong's friend, whose name has not been released, during the taxi ride to the hotel. Police said the friend, also an Irish exchange student, was unable to resist their advances because "she was in a comatose state from a highly alcoholic beverage," the Irish Independent reported.

Furlong's friend was in a separate room with the 23-year-old man when Furlong was found unconscious.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of State confirmed the arrests but said she could not provide further details, including the men's names, because of privacy considerations.

Furlong was studying at the Takasaki City University of Economics, about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo, as part of a one-year exchange program through Dublin City University. She had intended to return home this summer, the Independent reported.

Furlong's family described her as a "warm, generous, stunning person who always had time for her family and other people."

"We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter [and] sister Nicola in such tragic circumstances," they said in a statement obtained by the Independent. "Nicola will always be at the center of our lives. She stood for everything that is good in life."

Copyright 2012 ABC News

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