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Prosecutor seeks 4-year sentence in hit-and-run

Date Posted: 2010-09-02

If the Naha District Prosecutor has his way, U.S. Army staff sergeant Clyde Gunn will spend four years behind bars if convicted of the hit-and-run death of a Yomitan man last November.

Gunn continues to maintain his innocence during a trial in Naha District Court, with his attorney telling the judge during final arguments there was “no reasonable evidence” submitted to prove the soldier knew he struck a pedestrian as he drove down the road a few minutes before dawn last November 7th. Attorney Toshimitsu Takaesu said the victim, Masakazu Hokama, was at least partially to blame in his death, as he was wearing dark clothing without reflective markings as he walked in the dark.

The 27-year-old Gunn, assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group at Torii Station, was arrested after taking the vehicle to a local auto repair shop a day after the incident. Hokama, Prosecutor Kenichi Abe argues, had to have felt the vehicle impact striking the victim. Hokama was found on the roadway about 12 hours after the incident; he died of a broken neck. Gunn’s fate will be known October 15th when the District Court Judge renders his verdict.

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