Gadson pleads not guilty to Okinawan woman’s murder, but admits other charges
NAHA CITY, Okinawa — A former Air Force contractor admitted to some charges in the killing of a 20-year-old Okinawan woman last year. However, he pleaded not guilty to murder and insisted her death was not planned, during the first day of his trial Thursday at Naha District Court.
Kenneth Franklin Gadson, 33, is charged with murder, rape resulting in death and the illegal disposal of a body in the death of Uruma office worker Rina Shimabukuro on the night of April 28, 2016. He is being tried under Japan’s lay judge system with three judges and six jurors.
Gadson, a former Marine who was a civilian employee at a Kadena Air Base cable and internet provider at the time of his arrest, glanced at the crowd as he entered the courtroom wearing a white T-shirt, blue pants and black plastic sandals.
Shimabukuro’s family was also in attendance. They later wept as details of her killing were presented in court.
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