Spouse gets suspended sentence in drug case
September 12, 2008
NAHA, Okinawa — An Army spouse was sentenced in Japanese court Wednesday to eight months in a Japanese prison, suspended for three years, for having marijuana mailed to her from the United States in a jar of peanut butter.
Christa L. Leavell, 30, nodded as the judge read the verdict. She had pleaded guilty at a hearing in August to having her former husband mail 0.12 ounces of marijuana from Colorado to her Torii Station post box in February.
Judge Hiroyuki Yoshii said during the sentencing that he suspended the sentence because Leavell showed remorse and promised the court she would never repeat the mistake.
At the previous hearing, prosecutor Yukio Nakajima argued for an eight-month prison term at hard labor. Leavell’s lawyer, Satoshi Kawamitsu, asked the court to render a suspended sentence to his client, who is pregnant and has three children.
Leavell, who has not been in Japanese custody, still could be banned from U.S. military bases on Okinawa or sent back to the United States.
"The Army will consider appropriate administrative action," an Army public affairs official said Wednesday.