Pacific edition, Sunday, June 24, 2007

NAHA — A Japanese prosecutor Friday recommended that a 19-year-old dependent of an Army employee be imprisoned one to two years for wounding a woman with an air gun.

Robert W. Frank II, stepson of a 43-year-old civil engineer for Army Corps of Engineer on Camp Foster, pleaded guilty in a previous hearing to charges he injured the woman and damaged a neighbor’s car after he fired an air gun March 8 from the balcony of his off-base home in Chatan.

“The defendant fired the air gun just to satisfy his curiosity without giving any thoughts for the safety of others,” Prosecutor Daisuke Tabuchi said during final arguments.

A metallic pellet Frank fired from his stepfather’s gun embedded in the chest of a 50-year-old American woman who was walking near the apartment, according to court documents.

Frank then fired another pellet, aiming at the license plate of a neighbor’s car, causing $350 in damages.

Japanese police arrested him the day after and have detained him since.

Frank’s defense attorney Miyatomi Harushima argued that his client should get a suspended sentence.

Frank expressed remorse.

“I didn’t understand why I did it,” he told the court.

“It was my decision to pick up [the gun] and use it,” added. “I made a bad decision.”

Sentencing is set for July 4.

Meanwhile, Naha District Court Friday sentenced Frank’s stepfather to a fine of 200,000 yen, about $1,670, for illegal possession of an air gun.

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