Teen who killed Japanese
student sentenced to life

Associated Press

HILO >> A Hawaii teenager was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for the fatal beating and stabbing of a Japanese student last year.

Michael Verece, 18, pleaded guilty to the beating death of Tetsuya Takahashi, 20, of Tokyo, who had been a student at the University of Hawaii-Hilo.

Verece received a life term with the possibility of parole in 20 years. He was 16 when the crime was committed but was prosecuted as an adult.

Takahashi was allegedly killed because he refused to give Verece money to buy drugs. Verece confessed to stabbing Takahashi and then hitting him with a rock, according to court records.

Takahashi's body was found Feb. 18, 2001, by a roadside south of Hilo. An autopsy determined he had suffered superficial stab wounds and died of blows to the head.

Takahashi had taken the semester off from the university to become certified as a scuba diver before resuming his studies in marine science.

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