Female double-murderer on death row chokes to death on her food while waiting to be hanged

Just four days after being hospitalised for the same problem, a death row killer in Japan choked to death on prison food.

Miyuki Ueta, who was convicted of double murder and robbery in connection with the deaths of two men in 2009, passed out Saturday night in the Hiroshima Detention Facility.

Around 4.20 p.m., the 49-year-old began choking, and staff members scrambled to get the food out of her throat before rushing her to the hospital.

The food served to Japanese convicts includes grilled fish, miso soup, low-fat vegetable dishes, and whole grain barley mixed with rice.

At 6.55 p.m., the prisoner’s death was officially declared. The former bar employee was also sent to the hospital four days prior after choking on her food, according to a report in The Japan Times.

In 2009, Ueta drugged truck driver Kazumi Yabe, 47, in the sea and then killed Hideki Maruyama, 57, six months later by drugging him with sleeping pills and drowning him in a river.

The killer maintained her innocence throughout despite owing money to both victims.

The verdicts were mainly based on circumstantial evidence, that Ueta was the last person to see both men before their disappearances, and the fact she had bought sleeping pills just before their sudden deaths. 

She was sentenced to death in 2012, and an appeal was overruled by the Supreme Court in 2017.

Judges said the defendant carried out ‘cruel crimes based on firm intentions to kill’.

The son of murder victim Hideki Maruyama said he was ‘surprised’ by her sudden death.

He told NHK: ‘It’s been 14 years since my father died, and I’m surprised that a death row inmate died in this way. Since then, I think it’s been taking too long without being executed.

‘Every day I put my hands on my father at the Buddhist altar in my house, and tonight I’d like to put my hands together and report today.’

There are currently 105 inmates on death row in Japan.

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