April 02–A U.S Air Force trainee was sentenced to 21 days in prison Friday after he was court-martialed for assaulting two other airmen at Keesler.

Airman 1st Class Brandon Hyoe Sugimoto, 34, of Los Angeles, was booked into the Harrison County jail Friday to begin serving the sentence for two counts of assault, one count of aggravated assault and two counts of communicating a threat.

Keesler’s chief public affairs officer, Capt. David Murphy, said Sugimoto pleaded guilty to the charges shortly after his arrest in December.

Military police arrested him during an incident in which he assaulted two other airmen on base. A summary court-martial, held Friday at Keesler, ordered him to serve 21 days in the Harrison County jail, Murphy said.

A summary court-martial is a simplified military court proceeding designed to resolve typically minor charges. In addition to confinement, sentencing by courts-martial can combine a number of punishments such as reprimand, forfeiture of pay, fines and other terms. The complete terms of Sugimoto’s sentence were not immediately available over the weekend.

Sugimoto was a recent recruit who had finished boot camp and come to Keesler for advanced training as a weather observer. He was assigned to the 335th Training Squadron.

The airman’s conviction has not changed his enlistment status. After he serves his sentence, he will return to Keesler, Murphy said.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice defines aggravated assault as “assault with a dangerous weapon or other means or force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm” or an assault that “intentionally inflicts grievous bodily harm with or without a weapon.” It typically carries a minimum penalty of three months confinement.

The criminal conviction of a military service member in a court-martial is a federal criminal conviction.

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By Wesley Muller, The Sun Herald

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