This screenshot from an All Nippon News report shows security camera footage from a car dealer in Iwakuni, Japan, Dec. 3, 2022.

This screenshot from an All Nippon News report shows security camera footage from a car dealer in Iwakuni, Japan, Dec. 3, 2022. (ANN)

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — A Marine whose conduct a Japanese judge described as “bold, violent and vicious” received a two-year suspended sentence Friday for stealing a car, driving drunk and injuring two others in a collision.

Lance Cpl. Dominic Youngren pleaded guilty June 6 to illegal entry, theft, drunken driving and negligent driving in December. He was formally convicted and sentenced Friday by Judge Soshi Okada in Yamaguchi District Court in Iwakuni city.

Youngren, an F-35B Lightning II mechanic with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242 at the air station, broke into an Iwakuni car dealership at 7:08 a.m. Dec. 3, according to a case summary of Okada's remarks in court.

The Marine took a key to a car worth $38,000 and drove away in it at 7:57 a.m., drunk, according to the summary. These were “bold, violent and vicious” acts, the judge said.

After driving more than 2 ½ miles on city streets, Youngren rear-ended a car at a stop light, according to the summary. The other driver and a passenger suffered neck and back injuries that required 10 days of treatment.

Youngren left the scene without reporting the accident, Okada said.

He had consumed 10 cocktails the previous night, the judge said. A Breathalyzer measured the Marine’s blood alcohol content at 0.05% after his arrest.

Although he paid $1,400 to the car dealership, Youngren has so far paid no further compensation, Okada said.

The lance corporal proved “extremely self-centered,” Okada said. “There can be no extenuating circumstances.”

But some circumstances weigh in his favor, the judge said before suspending Youngren’s sentence. The Marine admitted his guilt, showed regret and apologized for what he did, according to the judge. He also promised not to drink again.

If Youngren commits another offense within four years, he must serve two years with hard labor on this conviction.

He also faces further action from the Marine Corps “in accordance with U.S. laws,” base spokesman Maj. Gerard Farao told Stars and Stripes by email Friday. “We take all allegations of wrongdoing seriously and expect all our service members to show respect to the local community.”

Youngren and his command “cooperated fully” with Japanese authorities, Farao wrote.

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Jonathan Snyder is a reporter at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. Most of his career was spent as an aerial combat photojournalist with the 3rd Combat Camera Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He is also a Syracuse Military Photojournalism Program and Eddie Adams Workshop alumnus.
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Hana Kusumoto is a reporter/translator who has been covering local authorities in Japan since 2002. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, and lived in Australia and Illinois growing up. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and previously worked for the Christian Science Monitor’s Tokyo bureau.

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