THE TRIAL OF Richard Hinds, the 19-year-old American accused of murdering a young Irish student continues in Japan today.
Nicola Furlong’s family is in Tokyo for the proceedings and told RTÉ News they were satisfied with the process so far.
The victim’s sister Andrea told reporter Robert Shortt that she wanted to hear every detail so Nicola would know she was there for her.
The court has heard from the doctor who treated the 21-year-old on the night she died today.
The accused has denied murder, stating he had no intention of killing the exchange student. She was suffocated on May 24 last year in a Tokyo hotel after she and a friend attended a Nicki Minaj concert.
“I do not believe I was the cause of her death,” Hinds told the court. “I had no intent or reason to hurt, harm or kill her.”
He and another man, James Blackston, had met the victim and her friend after the concert and went with them to a bar. Prosecutors argue that the men proceeded to get the women drunk before taking them by taxi to a hotel, where they borrowed wheelchairs to get the unconscious women to their rooms. The prosecution also believes the victim may have been drugged before she was strangled with a towel.
They say Hinds has shown no remorse and should be punished severely. However, they are not seeking the death penalty.
Furlong was later found unconscious in her room after another guest complained of a loud noise. The defence suggested she died of an overdose of alcohol and drugs.
A verdict is expected on 19 March.
Nicola Furlong was a native of Wexford and an international business student in DCU. She was studying at the Takasaki City University of Economics for the third year of her degree.
-Additional reporting by AP