LAPD says no foul play in Miura death

LOS ANGELES Miura, 61, was found dead in his cell earlier this month. From the beginning, police said he hanged himself with a piece of his shirt.

The LAPD held a news conference to give details of the death of Kazuyoshi Miura.

He was in LAPD custody for 12 hours when he was found dead in his jail cell, allegedly he hanged himself with his shirt. Officials say all the procedures were followed.

Mark Geragos, a lawyer for Miura, said his client did not commit suicide. He said a pathologist he hired found evidence indicting Miura was beaten and choked. He said the pathologist concluded the marks on Miura's neck could not have been caused by a self-indicted hanging.

"All of this is consistent with a murder," Geragos said.

Geragos said he would contact U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien and request a federal investigation.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles police official says there's no evidence of foul play in the jail-cell death.

Deputy Chief Mark Perez, commander of the Office of Professional Standards, said Monday the investigation in Kazuyoshi Miura's death still is open.

Miura was found dead less than 24 hours after he was returned to the United States to stand trial for the murder of his wife in downtown L.A. 27 years ago.

The Miura case was a sensation in Japan, where it was known as "the Japanese O.J. case," and it had many bizarre twists. Miura was convicted in 1994 in Japan of plotting his wife's death and was sentenced to life in prison, but the Japanese Supreme Court reversed the case and acquitted Miura in 2003.

An official from the coroner's office says they no longer have Miura's body, but they stand by their original finding and have no plans to conduct another autopsy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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