Monday, June 05, 2006
Where do we get such men? - Part II
U.S. sailor gets life for killing Yokosuka woman
Compiled from Kyodo, AP.........excerpted from the Japan Times 3 June 2006.
A U.S. sailor was sentenced to life in prison Friday for murdering a Japanese woman in the port of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, during a robbery in January.
Seaman William Reese, 22, a member of the crew of the Yokosuka-deployed aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, was convicted by the Yokohama District Court. He had admitted beating temp worker Yoshie Sato, 56, but said he did not intend to kill her. Presiding Judge Masazo Ogura said: "The defendant spent his money on drinks and killed the victim with the intention of robbing her. His acts were extremely selfish and he took human life lightly. "The malicious crime by a U.S. soldier heavily impacted and triggered fear in people living in the area of the (U.S.) base," he added. The judge noted, "The victim died in extreme fear and unimaginable pain and the life she was about to lead after getting remarried was taken away."
Prosecutors had demanded life in prison. They indicted Reese for fatally beating Sato on the morning of Jan. 3. They alleged that Reese had tried unsuccessfully to grab Sato's bag on a sidewalk, and had then forced her into a nearby building and beat her for 10 minutes.
They accused Reese of stealing 15,000 yen from Sato and fleeing the scene. Japanese police arrested him four days later. Prosecutors said earlier Reese had told investigators he wanted money for drinks. Reese's lawyer said the sailor had no intention of killing the woman but did not deny that he was aware his actions could result in death.
The U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement does not require the U.S. military to hand over suspects before indictment, but the United States agreed in 1995 to preindictment handovers in serious criminal cases. Reese's case marks the first time the United States made such a handover in a slaying.