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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A U.S. sailor was sentenced to life in prison — with the possibility of parole in 25 years — after pleading guilty Friday to killing his 5-year-old daughter last March.

Petty Officer 1st Class Gener Pizarro, an aviation storekeeper at the Defense Distribution Center Yokosuka, was expected to leave Japan on Tuesday, likely headed for the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Navy officials said Monday.

Pizarro originally had been charged with premeditated murder, but after 10 months of confinement, he reached a deal with military prosecutors to admit to “un-premeditated murder,” maiming, battery, making a false official statement, reckless endangerment and adultery.

Because Naval Forces Japan was the convening authority in the case, the final decision on accepting any deal rested with Rear Adm. Robert C. Chaplin, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Japan.

“The admiral believes that we don’t put a price tag on justice. This agreement gives a certainty of outcome,” said Cmdr. Benjamin Clancy, the U.S. Naval Forces Japan Force Judge Advocate, in explaining why a deal was made.

“Complicated cases like this take a number of months to get prepared for trial. The advantage of the pre-trial agreement is that you reduce the opportunity of appealable errors and there is a savings of time and resources,” Clancy said.

Officials said Pizarro was unavailable for comment; his military defense attorneys declined comment Monday.

According to prosecuting attorneys, Pizarro admitted to forcing water from a shower nozzle down the young girl’s throat in a misguided attempt at discipline. He also admitted to months of abusing Janine, whom he fathered with a Philippine woman who was not his wife and who was living without a visa in a Yokohama apartment.

Navy Lt. Marc Guarin, who worked as a prosecutor on the case, said that Pizarro gave a short verbal statement admitting to the charges in the plea deal. He also chose to make a short, unsworn statement expressing his sorrow to the victim and her family.

The mother, previously identified by Japanese authorities as Lyndamour M. Paxton, was deported to the Philippines by immigration officials in June, officials said.

Janine Paxton Pizarro died March 8 in Apartment 223 of a dank 10-story building near Isezaki, Japanese police and American military lawyers said.

The 5-year-old girl had been placed on her bed and had been dead for at least 36 hours before police arrived. Isezaki Ward police reported at the time of the incident that Janine Pizarro had bruises on her body and had died after going into post-traumatic shock.

Pizarro turned himself in to Navy security agents on Yokosuka Naval Base on March 9, leading them and Japanese police to the apartment and the girl’s body. Paxton, 31, was arrested later that day at a friend’s house on Yokosuka Naval Base and charged with immigration violations.

Pizarro, who lived on Yokosuka Naval Base with his wife and family, allegedly admitted to disciplining the girl early March 8 by forcing water into the girl’s mouth with a showerhead. Since then, Pizarro has been in Navy custody, awaiting a hearing and a possible trial.

The apartment was without heat, so the occupants would burn newspapers on the balcony, a maintenance worker said. They got hot water from small water heaters in the apartment. Police later tested the heaters to see if they could produce water hot enough to cause the burn marks found on the child’s body. Police officials would not disclose the details of those tests Monday.

According to Navy officials, an Article 32 hearing for Pizarro was pushed back repeatedly because of defense requests. Neither Navy prosecutors nor defense lawyers were willing to comment about the delays, but one source said the government agreed to the delays in the hopes that a deal would be reached.

An Article 32 hearing inquires into the truth of charges that have been brought against a servicemember. It is similar to a civilian grand jury hearing, but the accused may be present and witnesses can be called and cross-examined by defense and trial counsels.

Because Pizarro apparently claimed the girl on his personnel forms, she was covered by the status of forces agreement. His case, therefore, was not under Japanese jurisdiction, even though the alleged crime occurred off base.

Navy records show that Pizarro joined the Navy in 1988 and served several tours in Japan.

From 1992 to 1995, he worked at the Fleet and Industrial Supply Center in Yokosuka; from 1995 to 1996 he was assigned to the USS Independence; from 1997 to 2000 he was attached to Fighter Squadron 154 in Atsugi.

He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, twice received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and twice was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal.

Beyond that, his record indicates a normal Navy career, unremarkable until he turned himself over to the NCIS in early March.


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