American convicted of murdering Irish student in Tokyo hotel room
March 19, 2013 -- Updated 1401 GMT (2201 HKT)
- NEW: The victim's sister says she doesn't feel the family got justice
- A Tokyo court finds that Richard Hinds strangled Nicola Furlong
- It rejected the defense's claim that she died from alcohol poisoning
- Hinds, 19, is sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, the maximum for a juvenile
Tokyo (CNN) -- A Japanese court on Tuesday found a 19-year-old American man guilty of murdering an Irish student in a Tokyo hotel room last year.
The Tokyo District Court recommended that Richard Hinds, a musician, serve no fewer than five years and no more than 10 years in prison.
The sentence was the heaviest that could be handed down to Hinds, whose age makes him a juvenile under Japanese law.
Judge Masaharu Ashizawa said the evidence showed that Hinds had strangled Nicola Furlong, the 21-year-old Irish woman, with murderous intent in May 2012.
Who killed an Irish student in Tokyo?
Ashizawa said Hinds appeared to have used a towel or something similar to carry out the act, discounting the defense's argument that the victim had died from acute alcohol poisoning.
Furlong had been studying in Tokyo on an exchange program when she met Hinds.
Her parents and sister were in court Tuesday to hear the verdict read out.
"We still don't know the truth of what happened in that room, but we know Nicola did nothing wrong," Furlong's mother, Angela, said afterward.
The victim's sister, Andrea, expressed disgust about the sentence that Hinds received, saying she didn't feel that the family got justice.
"I'm so angry and I'm so hurt," she said.
After Furlong's death last year, her parish priest, the Rev. Jim Fitzpatrick, described her as an "outgoing, bubbly sort of girl and very well liked."
Hinds' parents were also in court for the verdict Tuesday.
Another American man, James Blackston, 23, was found guilty last week of sexually assaulting Furlong's friend on the night the Irish woman died.
2 Americans arrested after death of Irish woman
A court sentenced Blackston, a dancer from the Los Angeles area, to three years in prison.
Part of complete coverage on
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 0412 GMT (1212 HKT)
Until clearer information comes to light, here's a summary of what we know, and what we don't.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Turns out it's not as hard as you think to board a plane with a stolen passport.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 0300 GMT (1100 HKT)
Aaron Miller says even those with little knowledge of Ukraine should spot the myths we've heard.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1611 GMT (0011 HKT)
CNN reveals it's not just trade in which Russian interests are strongly represented -- it's in some of the most lavish assets around the world.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 0356 GMT (1156 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
What we commonly call the Web is really just the surface. Beneath that is a vast, mostly uncharted ocean called the Deep Web.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
On March 1, football's lawmakers, the International Football Association Board, met to debate the idea of a "sin-bin."
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1756 GMT (0156 HKT)
"Don't ask me about her again," Justin Bieber tells lawyer after question on Selena Gomez.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
It seems architects are increasingly drawn to buildings you can see straight through.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 1758 GMT (0158 HKT)
In the early 1960s, a young postdoctoral student stumbled onto something that puzzled him.
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1923 GMT (0323 HKT)
Was it a bomb? Mechanical failure? A hijacking gone awry? Pilot error? Here are four scenarios that aviation experts are discussing.
Today's five most popular stories