USS Gary sailor to be tried in stabbing of two
The 19-year-old USS Gary sailor accused of stabbing a Japanese woman and a teenager in July will face a criminal trial in Japanese court, a Yokohama Family Court spokesman said Tuesday.
The Family Court’s three-judge panel decided “the case is suitable for criminal punishment when considering the sailor’s age, type of crime and the circumstances,” the spokesman said.
The sailor is accused of stabbing a 16-year-old girl in the stomach and 26-year-old woman in the back after an argument at an apartment near Mabori Kaigan train station the morning of July 5. Neither Japanese nor U.S. officials have released the name of the sailor.
The sailor fled but was arrested later that day after admitting to the stabbings, police said. Both the teenager and the woman have since been released from the hospital.
Because individuals under 20 are considered minors in Japan, the seaman recruit’s case was sent to family court. The family court had the option of dismissing the case, sending the sailor to juvenile training school or sending the case back to the prosecutors office for an indictment.
With family court’s decision, the case was sent back to Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office in Yokosuka on Friday, according to the court spokesman. The prosecutors must issue an indictment within 10 days.
The case will be handled as an adult criminal case, the spokesman said. The sailor remains in custody of the prosecutors’ office, he said.
“This issue is in the hands of the Japanese authorities,” said Navy spokesman Dave Waterman. “The Navy will cooperate fully as requested, and has full trust in the Japanese court system.”
Stars and Stripes reporter Chris Fowler contributed to this report.