YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A Yokosuka-based sailor pleaded guilty Tuesday to recklessly endangering his toddler after falling from his third-floor apartment with the child wrapped in his coat.

During the first day of his court-martial, Petty Officer 1st Class Arthur Martin also pleaded not guilty to disobeying a military protective order and multiple specifications of assaulting his spouse.

The case stems from incidents involving Martin, his wife, her sister and the sister’s boyfriend during a Dec. 30 holiday celebration. Tuesday’s session focused on the endangerment of Martin’s son, who was a year old at the time.

Father and son fell from the third story of their off-base apartment building around 4:30 a.m. when Martin attempted to climb to a fire escape on the second floor, he testified. The father and son fell a second time when Martin tripped while running to Yokosuka Naval Base for medical help, he said.

His son suffered a fractured skull and minor bruising, he said.

“I realize my son could have died in the fall as well as I,” Martin told military judge Capt. Dennis Bengtson, explaining that he left through the fire escape to avoid his wife and go to the base to get care for his son because he and his wife were both intoxicated.

Lt. Mario Correa, the defense attorney, disputed the characterization of the endangerment and substituted the word “reckless” for “wanton” in Tuesday’s guilty plea.

Prosecutor Lt. Michael Torrisi said he would push for “wanton” endangerment in later sessions because it shows a higher degree of culpability, he said.

The maximum sentence is the same for both — confinement of up to 15 months, fines, reduction in rank to E-1 and a bad-conduct discharge.

Martin also pleaded guilty to being incapacitated for his job as a Commander, Naval Forces Japan fire controlman due to overindulging in alcohol. He drank two bottles of wine that night, he said.

“As the staff duty officer, I’m in a supervisory position, and showing up for work drunk is not a good way for a leader to show responsibility on this job,” Martin said.

The court-martial was to resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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