Prosecutor demands jail for 2 in cab robbery
Stars and Stripes May 17, 2008
NAHA, Okinawa — A Japanese prosecutor Thursday demanded prison sentences for two Marines charged with robbing a cab driver in January in Okinawa City.
In the final argument in Naha District Court, prosecutor Hiroyuki Nakajima sought an eight-year prison term for Cpl. Joseph Wayne Riddle, 20, and five to eight years in prison for Pfc. Reginald Crapps, 19, both assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
The defense attorneys asked for leniency, saying both Marines had deprived childhoods in which they were bounced from one foster home to another.
Both Riddle and Crapps expressed remorse. After offering apologies, Riddle asked the three-judge panel to show leniency to Crapps.
"He is considered as a juvenile in this country," Riddle said, adding that the crime was his idea.
In a preliminary hearing earlier this week, the two Marines pleaded guilty to attacking a 59-year-old cab driver and fleeing without paying the fare of 2,780 yen (about $27). The incident happened around 3:30 a.m. Jan. 7 in the Misato district of Okinawa City.
Riddle testified Thursday that he does not know his biological parents nor his birth name. He said he had lived in at least 15 foster homes before he was adopted by the Riddle family.
He also told the court that he had consumed 12 cans of beer in his barracks room before committing the robbery.
Crapps told the court that he had lived in at least 25 different foster homes. He said he had hardly any friends until he joined the Marine Corps and was assigned to Okinawa.
Nakajima argued that the court should give them harsh penalties.
Sentencing is set for June 5.