Courts & Crime

Mississippi Green Beret appeals Japanese prison sentence

An Army combat medic from Ocean Springs, Miss., has appealed a Japanese prison sentence in the traffic death of a 66-year-old man in Okinawa.

Army Staff Sgt. Clyde "Drew" Gunn was sentenced Oct. 15 to serve two years and eight months after he was found guilty of negligent operation of a vehicle and failing to report an accident or render aid.

Gunn's Japanese defense attorney has filed an appeal.

Gunn, 28, is a member of the 1st Special Forces Group, known as the Green Berets. He comes from a family of Gulf Coast attorneys, some of whom attended the trial.

Masakazu Hokama was dressed in black and wore headphones as he was taking his morning walk before dawn Nov. 7, according to testimony. He was found in bushes about 12 hours later, dead of a broken neck.

Okinawa police arrested Gunn after finding his car at an auto-repair shop.

Police reported Gunn said he thought he'd hit something while driving on a narrow farm road surrounded by tall brush before dawn, stopped to look but didn't see anything, and drove off.

Corban Gunn, Clyde Gunn's brother and a Biloxi attorney, on Friday said, "We have repeatedly attempted to express our sorrow personally to the Hokama family and will continue to do so."

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