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NAHA — A Kadena airman pleaded guilty in Naha District Court on Monday to playing a major role in a March taxi cab robbery in Okinawa City.

Senior Airman Darius A. Brunson, 21, assigned to the 18th Security Forces Squadron on Kadena Air Base, admitted to conspiring and committing the robbery with four teen-agers, ages 15 to 19 and all sons of active-duty servicemembers.

On March 16, three of the teens attacked a 55-year-old cab driver while Brunson and a 19-year-old military dependent waited in a car parked nearby shortly after midnight in an entertainment district near Kadena Air Base’s Gate 2, prosecutor Tomoyuki Shirai said.

They mugged the driver as he opened the trunk of his car and grabbed a coin box containing about 6,000 yen (about $60) and eight other items valued at 3,390 yen (about $34) before they fled in a car driven by Brunson, Shirai said.

The cab driver suffered bruises on his head and thighs, according to testimony.

Shirai said the robbery was plotted at Brunson’s home on Kadena Air Base, where he allowed the teens to hang out.

He said Brunson told the teens he badly needed money because his estranged wife unexpectedly withdrew money from his bank account, Shirai said.

Brunson is to testify Friday, when final arguments are expected by the prosecution and defense attorneys.


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