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Thu, Oct. 17

Havasupai man receives life sentence for murder

A Havasupai man who murdered a 34-year-old Japanese tourist two years ago was sentenced last week to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

On Thursday, Randy Redtail Wescogame, 20, appeared before a judge in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, where he received the sentence. He agreed to the terms when he pled guilty to second-degree murder last September in connection with the stabbing death of Tomomi Hanamure.

The victim's father was present in court to describe how the killing had altered his life forever.

Hanamure, 34, was reported missing on May 9, 2006, a day after she checked into a lodge on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and left for a hike to the Havasupai Falls on her 34th birthday.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Coconino County Sheriff's Office initiated a search and rescue operation. Her body was located on May 13 in a secluded section of the river. An autopsy revealed that Hanamure died as a result of approximately 30 stab wounds.

Wescogame was 18 when he was taken into custody in December 2006. He has a history of drug abuse and an extensive criminal history.

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