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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Marine private was sentenced to three years in prison and handed a bad conduct discharge Monday on convictions of larceny and intentionally writing bad checks and using a debit card to amass more than $20,000 in debts last summer.

Pvt. Robert N. Harvey, 20, assigned to Marine Air Control Group 18 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, stood impassively at attention as the sentence of the court-martial panel of two officers and three senior enlisted members was read. Earlier, in an unsworn statement during the trial’s sentencing phase, he had asked his fellow Marines to allow him to stay in the service.

“I am truly sorry,” he told the panel earlier Monday. He told the panel he grew up in a dysfunctional family in North Carolina and never learned basic life skills.

According to evidence presented during the three-day trial, Harvey wrote 40 checks last July and August to purchase $15,432 worth of computers, stereo equipment and other goods from Camp Foster’s Army and Air Force Exchange on a Navy Federal Credit Union account that had insufficient funds. The total he was in debt to the bank, counting bad check fees, eventually totaled $17,798.

Harvey also was convicted of larceny in making about $4,350 in purchases from Okinawa businesses by using a Fort Sills National Bank checking card. Many of those purchases were made after his NFCU account had been closed, according to the evidence presented.

In his sentencing argument, government co-counsel Capt. Keith Smith said Harvey used his family background as a “crutch” and never took responsibility for his actions. He said Harvey didn’t deserve a second chance to stay in the Marine Corps.

“He’s had 40 second chances,” Smith argued. “Each and every time he went into AAFES and pulled out an ink pen and put it to paper was a second chance.”

Harvey’s attorney, Capt. Jennelle Janabajal, didn’t argue for a specific sentence, suggesting the felony conviction may have been deterrent enough.

“That will follow him for the rest of his life,” she said. “That’s forever. That’s not going away.”

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