Kadena airman guilty of theft, failing to obey no-driving order
September 3, 2006
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — An airman arrested after a high-speed chase in June was found guilty during a summary court-martial here Thursday on charges of theft and failing to obey a lawful order not to drive.
Airman 1st Class Lemar Mayberry, 18, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in confinement, reduction in rank to E-1 and forfeiture of two-thirds pay for a month, according to 18th Wing Public Affairs. The sentence is the maximum allowed for the charges.
The court, however, credited him for 25 days spent in Japanese police custody and four days in military pretrial confinement, and on Friday he was released to his unit, the 18th Component Maintenance Squadron.
Mayberry and two American teens were taken into custody by Japanese police June 5 after a high-speed chase that ended in a six-car pileup in Chatan. No serious injuries were reported. Mayberry was driving without a license.
With Mayberry was the 17-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter of a U.S. civilian base employee. The three were accused of stealing four pairs of sneakers, valued at $160, from a shoe store in the Minami Tobaru district of Chatan.
The theft charges were waived to U.S. military jurisdiction, said Kadena public affairs spokesman Johnathan Monroe.
“The Japanese kept the driving offenses — driving without a license, speeding, and professional negligence causing an accident with injuries,” Monroe said. No trial is expected because Mayberry is considered a minor under Japanese law.
“The Japanese will most likely determine an appropriate fine for his traffic offense,” Monroe said.
The Naha District Public Prosecutor’s office Friday said a decision on the charges against Mayberry is pending. The dependents involved in the incident were handled through the Kadena Disciplinary Action Program and were barred from the base.
“The 18th Wing is committed to ensuring that appropriate actions are taken against individuals who commit crimes on and off base, and we will continue to work closely with Okinawa and Japanese officials to minimize negative incidents,” said Maj. Dani Johnson, 18th Wing Public Affairs chief.