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Taxi robbery nets prison time for Marines

Date Posted: 2008-06-08

A pair of Okinawa-based Marines who robbed a taxi driver in Okinawa City last January have been sentenced to prison for the crime.
The two Marines, both assigned to Futenma Marine Corps Air Station, had pleaded guilty to robbing the 59-year-old taxi driver in the early morning hours of January 7th. Corporal Joseph Wayne Riddle told the court he was responsible for the robbery, and that he convinced fellow-Marine Private First Class Reginald Crapps to join in.
The 20-year-old Riddle was sentenced to 4˝ years at forced labor in prison by Hiroyuki.Yoshii, the chief judge. “The crime was extremely dangerous,” said Yoshii, noting Riddle had hit the driver with a liquor bottle, while Crapps punched him in the face. The driver suffered head and neck injuries. Prosecutors had asked for eight-year sentences for the two Marines, but the judge listened to their defense attorneys’ appeals for leniency on grounds both had endured difficult childhoods in which they’d been shuffled from one foster home to another.
Crapps, who at age 19 is considered a minor under Japanese law, was sentence to 3-4 years at forced labor within the prison. The judge praised Riddle for taking responsibility for the crime, protecting the younger Crapps.

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