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Tricare Briefly Stranded A Marine Corps Judge At Guantanamo Bay During A Health Emergency
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — The Pentagon abruptly ended a 9/11 pretrial hearing Tuesday because the judge in the case had a health emergency, war court spokesmen said.
Marine Col. Keith Parrella's abrupt recess presented another pretrial delay in efforts to try the five men accused of plotting al-Qaida's Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that killed 2,976 people in New York, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. The next hearings are scheduled for late March.
Court personnel declined to describe Parrella's health emergency, citing privacy, but his wife and other war court personnel said the colonel had a detached retina that required surgery in the United States. The judge was expected to be airlifted late Tuesday. Parrella's health situation was not life-threatening, but required emergency surgery, said defense attorney Jay Connell.
But on Wednesday morning, the Marine colonel was still on the island awaiting evacuation, his wife, Jennifer Parella, told McClatchy.She said there was a dispute between the military health provider, Tricare, and an air ambulance firm that, she said, was standing by to take him from Guantánamo to the United States
"The transport company is ready to come get him, but Tricare isn't making payment, or is haggling about payment or offering to make payment after the fact," Jennifer Parrella said. "I'm reaching to anybody I can to get him on a plane. He just needs to be in the United States and be in surgery. Now his eye is starting to darken, the fear is he's going to lose his sight."
Ron Flesvig, court spokesman, and Guantanamo Naval Hospital spokeswoman Joycelyn Biggs declined to comment, citing privacy.
Jennifer Parrella said the colonel was hoping to go to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, which accepts Tricare.
Parrella, who is in his mid-40s, got the death-penalty case in August and has held just three hearings. He replaced now-retired Army Col. James L. Pohl, who presided on the pretrial hearings from arraignment in May 2012. It is uncertain how long Parrella is to serve on the case. The 24-year career Marine officer, who has served as a military judge for more than two years, was selected to assume the post of commander of Marine forces responsible for embassy security worldwide in the summer, a position that's consider a plum assignment.
Parrella had planned to hear closed-court testimony from a former CIA interpreter on Wednesday, handle other Sept. 11 trial business and return with war court personnel to Washington on Saturday.
"Due to a medical issue impacting the military judge's ability to work, the rest of the session is cancelled," Flesvig said in a statement Tuesday night.
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Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
VISTA —An Iraq war veteran who said he killed a stranger in Oceanside at the behest of a secret agency that controlled his brain was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The sentence for Mikhail Schmidt comes less than a month after a Superior Court jury in North County found Schmidt guilty of first-degree murder of Jacob Bravo, a stranger that Schmidt spotted, followed and stabbed to death on March 8, 2017.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Strongsville woman convicted of fleecing an ailing Korean War veteran out of much of his life savings was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison.
Latasha Wisniewski, 38, feigned a sexual interest in Charles Bauer in late 2017 by taking the 88-year-old widower to a plastic surgeon's office and asking him to pay for breast implants. She then withdrew more than $140,000 from Bauer's accounts over the following months, according to court records.
Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.
No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.
The U.S. Military Academy identified a cadet who has been missing since Friday evening as 20-year-old Kade Kurita.
A search began for Kurita after he failed to report for a scheduled military skills competition around 5:30pm on Friday. West Point officials said in the Tuesday press release that he is believed to still be nearby.