Father of Okinawa homicide victim wants execution for suspect
By MATTHEW M. BURKE AND CHIYOMI SUMIDA | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 15, 2016
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — An Okinawan father wants the death penalty for a U.S. civilian base worker charged in his daughter’s slaying.
Kenneth Franklin Gadson, a former Marine who works as a contractor at Kadena Air Base, was charged June 30 with murder and rape resulting in death in the death of 20-year-old Rina Shimabukuro.
“July 18 is our daughter’s 21st birthday, but her smiling face is gone forever,” Yasuhide Shimabukuro said in a statement released to the media Friday. “We hope that the assailant receives a death sentence and experiences the pains, agonies and fear that our daughter had gone through. We are still struggling to find closure, but we will continue to pray for her soul to rest in peace.”
The statement marks only the second time Shimabukuro’s family has commented on the death of their daughter, who disappeared in April.
Gadson’s attorney, Toshimitsu Takaesu, declined to comment, though he said it is unlikely his client will be executed.
“The death penalty is expected when more than one person was murdered,” Takaesu said.
Gadson allegedly confessed in May to killing Shimabukuro, though Takaesu says his client was under the influence of narcotics at the time because of suicide attempts.
In a statement to Stars and Stripes last week, Gadson denied premeditation or rape in the brutal slaying that has sparked protests against the U.S. military presence. He wants a change of venue due to the uproar the crime has caused on the tiny southern Japanese island. Gadson has been held since May 19 and gave police directions to find Shimabukuro’s body.