Murder, rape charges recommended in Okinawa woman's death
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Police on Thursday recommended a murder charge for a U.S. base contractor who they say went cruising in his car for a total stranger to attack and killed a 20-year-old Okinawa woman making her nightly walk.
Kenneth Franklin Gadson, a former Marine who works at Kadena Air Base, has been held since May 19 on suspicion of illegally disposing of Rina Shimabukuro’s body. Prosecutors on Thursday made that charge official, and police recommended additional charges of murder and rape resulting in death.
The moves appear to be aimed at keeping Gadson in custody for another 20 days, in line with Japanese legal procedures, while they continue to investigate the case that has inflamed anti-U.S. military sentiment on Okinawa, led to tightened alcohol and liberty restrictions for U.S. troops and tainted President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Japan.
Police told a news conference that Gadson, armed with a stick and a knife, struck the victim “with murderous intent” on the head from behind just before midnight on April 29, pulled her into bushes, then strangled and stabbed her while attempting to rape her. She died before he could finish the sexual assault, the report says.
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