Marine PFC Faces Murder Charge After Suffocation of Wife in Japan

U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Devin M. Rumbaugh
U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Devin M. Rumbaugh

A Marine private first class will head to court for a motions hearing Thursday after being accused of unpremeditated murder following the 2015 suffocation death of his wife and aggravated assault of a second woman the following year.

Pfc. Timothy A. Irvin is accused of placing his hand over his wife's mouth and nose, preventing her from breathing, while in Okinawa, Japan, on Aug. 30, 2015, according to his charge sheet.

In that case, Irvin, who has spent time in pretrial confinement on multiple occasions, has been charged with unpremeditated murder, involuntary manslaughter, one count of aggravated assault with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm, and four counts of falsifying official statements.

Thirteen months later, Irvin allegedly attempted to strangle a second woman in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the charge sheet states. He allegedly placed his hands around her throat and squeezed "with a force likely to produce death of grievous bodily harm."

For that Sept. 30, 2016, incident, Irvin faces a second charge of aggravated assault with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm and one more count of falsifying official statements.

The Marine is scheduled to appear before a judge aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on Thursday.

Irvin was assigned to Training Command's Marine Aviation Training Support Group-23, based out of Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. He joined the Marine Corps in February 2014, the charge sheet states.

Irvin is accused of falsifying statements to investigators three times in Okinawa in the days and months following his wife's death, and again in Mississippi.

On Aug. 31, 2015, the Marine allegedly he told a special agent with Naval Criminal Investigative Service that he and his wife had gone "straight to sleep" the night his wife died. Three days later, he allegedly again told a special agent that he and his wife had gone to bed at the same time and that he assumed she'd remained there and fallen asleep next to him.

Nothing out of the ordinary occurred the day of his wife's death, he added, according to the charge sheet, and there were "no domestic issues between the two."

In June 2016, his story allegedly changed when he told a special agent that his wife "said 'good night' to me from the couch and I went to sleep before her," sometime between 11:30 p.m. and midnight. Then on September 22, 2016, he allegedly told a special agent he'd gone to bed alone between 9 and 10:30 p.m. while his wife remained on the couch watching TV.

All of the statements were "totally false" and known by Irvin "to be so false," the charge sheet states.

About a year after his wife's death when Irvin allegedly attempted to strangle the other woman in Mississippi in September 2016, he was again accused of making a false statement, though it's unclear which woman it was about.

On April 11, 2017, Irvin allegedly told a special agent that he "didn't know how her clothes came off," which the charge sheet says is "totally false, and was then known by [Irvin] to be so false."

Irvin is also accused of using oxycodone on Nov. 27, 2017, and again one week later.

His case was been referred to a general court-martial by Brig. Gen. Jason Bohm, the former head of Marine Corps Training Command.

It's not immediately clear who is legally representing Irvin. His Thursday motions hearing is scheduled to last for three hours.

--Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ginaaharkins.

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