Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A Japanese court on Tuesday handed a death sentence to a 30-year-old man known as the "Twitter Killer" after convicting him of killing nine people at his apartment near Tokyo three years ago.
Judge Naokuni Yano of the Tokyo District Court imposed the sentence on Takahiro Shiraishi, whom prosecutors said lured victims to the deaths through social media.
Eight of the victims were young women, who were sexually assaulted and killed during October 2017, prosecutors said.
The ninth victim was the brother of one of the women who had come looking for his missing sister.
Shiraishi stole the victims' belongings, dismembered their bodies and stored their remains in coolers, the court heard.
He pleaded guilty to the slayings but defense lawyers argued against the death penalty, saying the victims had expressed suicidal thoughts on social media and had tacitly consented to be killed by him.
Yano, however, ruled that none of the victims wanted to be murdered and that Shiraishi was solely responsible for their deaths, upholding prosecutors' demands he be sentenced to death.