Two-year prison sentences urged in car-parts theft case at Iwakuni
Prosecutors suggested two-year prison sentences Tuesday for two Iwakuni servicemembers who pleaded guilty to stealing car parts.
The request came during a third hearing in Yamaguchi District Court for the two, both assigned to Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station.
Cpl. Todd M. Heaney, 25, of Marine Aircraft Logistics Squadron 12, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Ian Bucton, attached to Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, pleaded guilty March 30 to stealing automotive parts from local businesses in September.
The two are charged with five counts of theft after allegedly walking away with $10,038 in auto parts from Iwakuni City auto repair shops and dealers in July and September. Bucton also is charged with stealing a car bumper worth $53 sometime in September, according to an indictment. Some of the auto parts were sold on the Internet.
Heaney was arrested Jan. 11 on suspicion of stealing about $4,700 in auto parts from an auto dealer in September and has been in Japanese custody since then. The investigation led to Bucton, who was taken into Japanese custody after the Jan. 30 indictment. Since then, additional charges have been filed against both.
The lawyers for both Heaney and Bucton said Tuesday they believe the proposed sentence is too harsh, adding that the servicemembers either have returned the parts or compensated the victims, and regret stealing.
Heaney and Bucton face sentencing on June 15 in Yamaguchi District Court.