TACOMA, Wash. — An Army private whose civilian plane nearly collided with President Reagan's helicopter was given less than half the maximum possible sentence for being absent without leave during the incident, his attorney said.
Ralph William Myers, 32, was sentenced to 30 days' restriction at Ft. Lewis, Wash., and the loss of half a month's pay, said Marc Goldstein, Myers' attorney in Newport Beach, Calif.
For a soldier of Myers' grade, the pay loss would be $365, a Ft. Lewis spokesman said.
Myers, formerly of Vancouver, Wash., was flying Oregon businessman Harlan Lee Jones to a meeting in Orange County on Aug. 13 when his plane flew within 150 feet of Reagan's helicopter north of Santa Barbara. Myers had been AWOL from his post since Aug. 3.
Ft. Lewis officials refused to confirm the duration of Myers' sentence or when it would be served, saying that information was legally protected under federal regulations.
"He now continues as a soldier along with the other soldiers," said Maj. Frank Ham, a spokesman for the base.