Masaharu Ono’s attorney has received autopsy reports of Ono’s wife ahead of a scheduled March date to set a preliminary hearing in the 90-year-old Sacramento man’s murder case.
Ono was 89 on June 9 when he tried to call 911 from the south Sacramento mobile home he shared with his 83-year-old wife, Hiroko. He then headed to the office of the mobile home park’s manager who called dispatchers.
Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies and medical examiners arrived to find Hiroko’s body inside the Onos’ home. She had been stabbed to death.
Sacramento County district attorney’s prosecutors say Ono initially denied stabbing his wife before telling deputies he covered her with a blanket after dragging her into their bedroom.
Attorneys in the case appeared briefly in Sacramento Superior Court on Thursday. Ono, who appeared frail at past court appearances was absent from Thursday’s proceedings. A preliminary hearing is to be scheduled March 3.
Sacramento County Deputy Public Defender John Perkins said Ono remains in a medical ward of Sacramento County Main Jail.
Perkins said after Thursday’s brief hearing that he has not yet seen the autopsy results but plans to bring in experts to comb through the findings.
Neighbors and an Ono family member interviewed by The Sacramento Bee in the days after the violent death said Ono was a gentle man and that the couple rarely fought.
But one neighbor said he believed the Onos showed signs of an early form of dementia and Perkins said Sacramento County’s Adult Protective Services was contacted regarding the couple’s welfare in the months before Hiroko’s Ono’s death.
County Adult Protective Services officials neither confirmed nor denied that the agency provided services to the Onos.