Teen Arrested in Murder of Irish Exchange Student After Nicki Minaj Tokyo Concert
A 19-year-old Memphis teenager has been arrested in the death of an Irish exchange student who was killed after attending a Nicki Minaj concert in Tokyo last month. ABC24 News reports that Richard Hinds has confessed to police that he did strangle 21-year-old Nicola Furlong in her hotel room on May 24, but he had no intention to kill her.
As we previously reported, Furlong and her friend met Hinds and another man, James Blackson, at the Minaj concert and left the show in a taxi together. The parties went to a Shinjuku hotel, where Hinds allegedly sexually assaulted Furlong in her suite and then choked her. Authorities say a hotel employee went to investigate a loud noise coming from Furlong's suite and discovered her body lying on the floor with Hinds standing nearby.
Both men had already been in custody on suspicion of molesting Furlong's female friend, also an Irish national, inside a cab on the night of the murder. Police decided to additionally charge Hinds with the murder after analyzing the surveillance footage from inside the hotel and reviewing Furlong's autopsy report.
Hinds is a prominent Christian musician in Memphis who traveled to Japan to work as a backup dancer for a Japanese R&B artist. Family and neighbors are stunned by the news of their local artist.
"When I read the story I started putting things together, I said surely not," said a close friend of Hinds. "Surely this isn't happening, a piece of my heart broke, because I don't know that person that the media is trying to portray. I don't know that person."
Hinds was supposed to return to the United States on June 20, but now the two men are expected to be in custody for a long time as investigators build a murder case.
Watch ABC24 News Report on Teen Locked Up in Japan Murder Mystery