Jury convicts man of killing ex-wife in 2014

A Napa County Superior Court jury convicted a man the afternoon  of Dec. 12 for the first-degree stabbing murder of his ex-wife in 2014.

Shozaburo Nakamura, 74, faces 25 years to life in prison for killing Eiko Nakamura in their Napa home in May 2014 and use of a knife. He will be sentenced Jan. 24.

Napa County Assistant District Attorney Paul Gero said the murder was clearly deliberate, willful and pre-meditated. The defense argued Shozaburo Nakamura killed his wife “in the heat of passion,” Gero said.

“The defense was looking for a voluntary manslaughter conviction,” Gero said.

The Nakamuras were married for 23 years but had been divorced for 20 years, Gero said. They were also business partners, and after the divorce, Shozaburo moved back into his ex-wife’s home.

Eiko Nakamura owned the Fujiya Restaurant at the Napa Premium Outlets for 24 years and founded Eiko’s Modern Japanese Cuisine in Napa three years before her death.

Napa police went to the Nakamura’s residence on June 1, 2014 after the victim’s friend said she had not been heard from since May 30.

Shozaburo let police inside the house and he admitted killing his ex-wife around 9 a.m. on May 31 during a domestic dispute, according to Napa police. Police found Eiko’s body in a bathroom. She had suffered stab wounds and blunt force injuries.

Defense attorney Molly Hendry was not available for comment on the verdict the afternoon of Dec. 12.

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