A Japanese woman on death row for killing two men died behind bars when she choked while eating prison chow in her cell.
Miyuki Ueta, 49, a former bar employee, lost consciousness during her meal at the Hiroshima lockup on Saturday afternoon, the Japan Times reported.
Guards tried to remove the food from her throat and performed other rescue measures, but Ueta was declared dead at a hospital less than three hours later, according to the outlet.
The prisoner had reportedly been on medication for a variety of ailments and had already collapsed a week earlier while eating.
Ueta’s death sentence was finalized in 2017 when the country’s Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings.
She bore “grave criminal responsibility” after carrying out the premeditated and “cruel crimes based on firm intentions to kill,” the top court said.
Ueta drugged Kazumi Yabe, a 47-year-old truck driver, and drowned him in the sea in 2009, the report said.
Later that year, she drugged and drowned electronics store owner Hideki Maruyama, 57, in a river.
She was found to have carried out the killings to avoid paying back debts she owed both men, the Japan Times reported.
Ueta maintained her innocence during the trial.
After hearing about her death, Maruyama’s son said he was “surprised that a death row inmate died in this way,” the Daily Star reported.
“I think it’s been taking too long for her to be executed,” he added.