Memphis Teen Arrested for Murder of Irish Exchange Student in Tokyo


Japanese police have arrested a Memphis teenager in connection with the murder of an Irish exchange student in Tokyo last month.

Richard Hinds, 19, has been arrested on suspicion of killing 21-year-old Nicola Furlong in her hotel room in the Shinjuku area on May 24.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department told ABC News that Hinds has admitted to strangling Furlong, but told investigators he had no intention to kill.

Hinds and 23-year-old American James Blackston had already been in custody on suspicion of molesting Furlong's female friend, also an Irish national, inside a taxi the night of the murder.

Furlong was found strangled to death at the Keio Plaza Hotel, following a night out with friends, attending a concert by rapper Nicki Minaj. Police say a hotel employee went to check on Furlong's room, after hearing a loud noise, and found her lying on the floor, with Hinds standing nearby.

Police say they decided to additionally charge Hinds with the killing after reviewing Furlong's autopsy and examining surveillance footage from inside the hotel, though investigators would not elaborate on details.

Furlong was studying in the city of Takasaki, about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo.

Hinds is a well known Christian musician in the Memphis area, but had travelled abroad to work as a backup dancer to a Japanese R&B artist, according to WPTY-TV in Memphis. He planned to return home on June 20 before he was arrested.