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A U.S. sailor from Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, was expected to be indicted on suspicion of attempted murder in the Oct. 14 stabbing of a Japanese woman, a base spokesman confirmed Friday.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Richard Hahn, 25, a master-at-arms from the base security department, is accused of stabbing the 25-year-old woman, whom he had met a week earlier, in the abdomen and arm. The attack happened in a botanical garden parking lot in Sasebo City’s Funakosho district, according to Nagasaki Prefectural police.

“The command expected to receive a letter of intent to indict from Nagasaki prosecutors today,” Charles Howard, a Sasebo Naval Base spokesman, said Friday. “But letters of intent are sometimes not executed on the same day they’re received. So it may or may not happen on the same day.”

The Sasebo branch of the Nagasaki District Public Prosecutor’s Office could not be reached Friday, a Japanese holiday.

Hahn has been in Japanese police custody since his Oct. 14 arrest. Japanese prosecutors can hold prisoners without charges or an indictment for up to three weeks.

A resident who heard the woman’s cry for help shortly after the 3:30 a.m. attack called police, Japanese authorities say. Hahn was arrested at his off-base home in the city about seven hours later.

At the time, Japanese police said Hahn admitted stabbing the woman but the motive was under investigation.

Stars and Stripes reporter Hana Kusumoto contributed to this story.


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