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NAHA, Okinawa — Two Camp Foster Marines received prison sentences Wednesday for robbing a cab driver on Camp Foster in January.

Lance Cpl. Henry Dwayne Morgan, 20, was sentenced to three years and Lance Cpl. Reginald Q. Lowery Jr., 21, was sentenced in Naha District Court to two years and six months in prison with hard labor. Both are assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion, Camp Foster.

Clad in civilian clothes, Morgan and Lowery stood at parade rest before Judge Hiroyuki Yoshii as they listened to the court’s decision.

They have been in Japanese custody since Feb. 10, when the U.S. military handed them over to Japanese officials.

Yoshii said during the sentencing that Morgan and Lowery and a third Marine, who has not been prosecuted for an undisclosed reason, plotted the robbery while drinking in their Camp Foster barracks. The third Marine called the taxi and Morgan, who exited the barracks from a window, approached the driver, displayed a knife and demanded money at about 12:50 a.m. Jan. 7. The cab driver, Tetsuo Hamazato, 62, handed over a box containing about 5,000 yen ($44) and $5 in U.S. currency. The driver sustained no physical injury.

“Preparing a knife in advance and calling a taxi, the crime was premeditated,” Yoshii said. Should one step have gone wrong, he said, the crime could have had a more serious outcome.

The victim experienced tremendous fear and the incident shocked local communities, the judge said.

“There is no extraordinary circumstance to take into consideration,” he said, explaining the reason for not suspending the sentences as their defense attorneys had argued in the previous session.

Morgan carried out the crime and Lowery encouraged him by calling the taxi company to make sure a taxi was dispatched, Yoshii said.

In the final-argument phase of the trial in June, prosecutor Masahisa Yokota demanded a five-year prison term for Morgan and four-year sentence for Lowery.

“On the other hand,” the judge said, “the victim accepted apologies from both defendants and their supervisors, asking the court for leniency.”

Yoshii continued: “Both defendants expressed remorse and have no previous criminal records. They are still young and there are possibilities that they can pull themselves together once again.”

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