YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Robert Nolan told the Yokosuka District Court on Thursday that even though he already pleaded guilty to the unintentional death of an intoxicated Japanese man, his Nov. 2 actions came out of fear for his own life.

Nolan, a GS-14 civilian director of Commander, Naval Forces Japan’s human resources office, also said that he wasn’t thinking clearly when he signed the prosecutor’s office statement saying he “pushed” Katsumi Nakagawa outside a bar near Yokosuka Naval base. Nakagawa, 70, died four days later of head injuries.

“I signed the statement after two days in solitary confinement without food or medication,” Nolan said. “My mind was not very clear.”

The 54-year-old was charged with “bodily injury resulting in death,” a crime that carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

He testified on his own behalf Thursday that he was trying to get away from Nakagawa, who attacked him as he was walking out of Live Bar Buzz, located outside Yokosuka’s main gate. Nakagawa hit him, kicked him and reached for his collar, Nolan said, so he grabbed the man’s wrists and “let go” when they got to the door.

“Everything I did I did to stop him from hitting and kicking me,” said Nolan. “In my mind, the last place I wanted to be was anywhere glass was being broken and I might get cut.”

Nolan has stated throughout the trial that he has problems with his blood clotting.

Nolan’s wife, Kazuko Tanaka, and Live Bar Buzz witness Gary Beckwith also testified for the defense. Beckwith, an American friend of Nolan’s who witnessed the incident, backed Nolan’s claim that Nakagawa “fell” more than he was pushed.

Beckwith said that Nakagawa was a notoriously rowdy drunk in the Honch. When asked why everyone returned to the bar without calling an ambulance, Beckwith said that Nakagawa “looked like a passed-out drunk on the sidewalk.”

Tanaka said she walks by that spot on her way to work at Yokosuka Naval Base.

“Every morning I stop and say a prayer for his soul,” Tanaka said.

The next and final session is July 5 at 1:30 p.m.

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