Hearings Postponed for SEALs, Marines Charged in Green Beret's Death

Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar (Army Photo)
Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar (Army Photo)

NORFOLK -- A preliminary hearing for two Virginia Beach-based Navy SEALs and two Marines Raiders charged in connection with the death of an Army Green Beret in Africa in 2017 has been pushed to 2019.

Article 32 hearings, the military's equivalent to a civilian preliminary court hearing, were originally set for Dec. 10 at Naval Station Norfolk. The Navy did not say why the hearings were pushed back but indicated it expected to hear the case in March.

The Navy has not released the names of those charged. The SEALs are chief petty officers assigned to Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team 6. The Marines are assigned to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. One is a staff sergeant and the other is a gunnery sergeant.

Charge sheets accuse the special operators of breaking into Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar's bedroom in Bamako, Mali, while he was sleeping, restraining him with duct tape and strangling him by placing him in a chokehold. In addition to murder, they have also been charged with involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, hazing and burglary.

Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Commander Adm. Charles Rock decided last month to go forward with the charges after he was provided a Naval Criminal Investigative Service report into the death. The purpose of the Article 32 hearings is to consider the charges and to make recommendations on them.

If convicted, all four could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

This article is written by Courtney Mabeus from The Virginian-Pilot and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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