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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Marine sergeant was sentenced to 270 days in the brig and reduced in rank to E-1 Friday after pleading guilty to beating his Japanese wife.

Sgt. Kyle R. Ross, 23, displayed no emotion when he was sentenced by the judge, Maj. Charles Hale, at the end of the daylong special court-martial. He had pleaded guilty to one charge of unauthorized absence and two counts of assaulting his wife, all on June 1.

During questioning by Hale, Ross admitted he had been granted time off from work at Marine Air Group 36 on June 1 for an appointment to take care of family matters, but failed to return when he learned the appointment was for another day.

Instead, he stayed home, drank and argued with his wife, who was threatening to remain in Japan with their two children when he was to be discharged later in the year.

“He walked into the kitchen, got two butcher knives and held one to his wife’s throat to settle the argument,” said Capt. Timothy Aoyagi, the prosecutor, during his sentencing argument. “That’s just the kind of person he is.”

Ross admitted he knocked his wife down and choked her until she stopped threatening him. Mention of the knife was deleted from the charge sheet as part of a pre-trial agreement.

Ross also admitted assaulting his wife a second time that day when he saw she had his bank debit card. He said he again knocked her down and choked her, but Aoyagi’s description of the second assault was more detailed.

“He grabbed her and threw her to the floor,” Aoyagi said. “And then, while their 2-year-old daughter was in the room, he choked her by the neck.

“Then he asked his 2-year-old daughter, who was crying and hysterical, to go get the knife that he had threatened her mother with the first time.”

When Ross got up to get the knife himself, his wife grabbed their daughter and ran out of the house, Aoyagi said.

He asked that Ross be jailed for a year and booted out of the Marines with a bad-conduct discharge.

Ross’ defense counsel, Capt. Kristy Milton, said Ross has admitted he has alcohol and anger issues and has voluntarily attended alcohol abuse, spousal abuse and anger management classes in the brig, where he has been held since his arrest June 1.

She asked Hale to sentence Ross to time served, restriction and reduction in rank to E-2.


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