Kadena airman gets suspended sentence on charges of theft
NAHA, Okinawa — An airman assigned to Kadena Air Base was sentenced to 18 months in a Japanese prison, suspended for three years, Wednesday on charges of theft and attempted theft.
Airman 1st Class Tyson Walker, 21, stood straight before the judge with his both hands clasped in front of him as he listened to the verdict. The hearing took about 20 minutes.
Walker made no comment after the sentencing.
In March, Walker, assigned to the 18th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, pleaded guilty to charges he stole a shoulder bag and 45 other items worth about $410 from a car in the Daito district of Nago at 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 14. He also attempted to steal a case containing about 32 music CDs worth about $510 the same night from another car.
He was caught by the owner of the second car and detained until police arrived.
Walker also pleaded guilty to an earlier theft of computer, a cash register and other items from a bar in the Makishi district of Naha, worth about $4,300.
At a previous hearing, Walker apologized and expressed remorse for his actions. His lawyer, Satoshi Kawamitsu, produced evidence that the seven victims in the case accepted jidan, or apology payment, from Walker and signed letters asking for leniency in sentencing.
The jidan for all victims totaled $2,560 and was paid by Walker’s mother in Arizona, Kawamitsu said.
Prosecutor Daisuke Tabuchi demanded a prison term during the March hearing, arguing that Walker was involved in three separate crimes and there was no evidence of rehabilitation. He said he believed Walker would commit more crimes if not punished severely enough.
However, Judge Naoyuki Fukushima said he deemed it appropriate to suspend the execution of the prison sentence, since the stolen items were returned and jidan had been paid.