Marine Raider gets 4 years for Green Beret's hazing death in Mali


Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar

(U.S. Army photo)

A Marine Raider was sentenced to four years imprisonment in Camp Lejuene brig for his role in the 2017 hazing incident that resulted in the death of a Green Beret, the Navy announced on Friday.

Marine Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell Jr. plead guilty at general court-martial on Thursday to negligent homicide and other offenses as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in connection with the June 2017 hazing death of Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar in Mali.

He was also sentenced to a reduction in rank to E-1 and a bad conduct discharge.

Two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders were accused of breaking down the door to a sleeping Melgar's room and binding him with duct tape, reportedly as part of a plan to sexually assault him on camera to "embarrass" him.

Melgar died of asphyxiation after he was put in a chokehold during the incident, according to the Washington Post.

"This case is absolutely a tragedy and it was avoidable and just sad all around," Brian Bouffard, Maxwell's attorney, told Task & Purpose. "Speaking from what I know of Staff Sgt. Maxwell as I've come to know him since this case arose: He's filled with remorse over this and he's always going to be filled with remorse over this and his role in it."

"He and Logan Melgar were friends and he didn't act like his friend that night," he added.

Maxwell is the second of four U.S. special operations personnel to plead guilty so far. In May, Chief Special Warfare Officer Adam Matthews reached a pretrial agreement to plead guilty to charges of hazing, assault consummated by battery, burglary, and conspiracy to obstruct justice in exchange for referral to a special court-martial.

He was sentenced to one year in prison, reduction in rank to E-5, and given a bad conduct discharge.

"I have carried the weight of Sgt. Melgar's death every minute of every day since that night in Mali," Matthew said in an emotional statement in to the Norfolk, Virginia court. "This was my fault ... I humbly accept whatever punishment you think is warranted."

SEE ALSO: 'You Are A Disgrace To Your Purple Heart' — Green Beret's Mother Rejects Navy Seal's Apology For Killing Her Son

The United States and Turkey have agreed to a temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone that Turkey is establishing along its border with Syria, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.

Read More Show Less

Trump's recent decisions in northern Syria were ill-advised, strategically unsound, and morally shameful. In rapidly withdrawing U.S. presence and allowing a Turk offensive into Syria, we have left the Syrian Kurds behind, created a power vacuum for our adversaries to fill, and set the stage for the resurgence of ISIS.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One of the world's largest freshwater fish is protected by the natural equivalent of a "bulletproof vest," helping it thrive in the dangerous waters of the Amazon River basin with flexible armor-like scales able to withstand ferocious piranha attacks.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego and University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday described the unique structure and impressive properties of the dermal armor of the fish, called Arapaima gigas. They said their findings can help guide development of better body armor for people as well as applications in aerospace design.

Read More Show Less

DELAND, Florida — A military freefall parachuting team has a better reason to conquer Mount Everest than "because it's there."

The 12-member team, assembled by Complete Parachute Solutions of DeLand, will attempt a world record for the highest-elevation tactical military freefall parachute landing. But it's more than a record. It's validation.

"When CPS says we've landed our parachutes at over 20,000 feet, that means we've done it," said Johnny Rogers, the company's vice president.

Read More Show Less

The U.S. military's withdrawal from northeast Syria is looking more like Dunkirk every day.

On Wednesday, the U.S. military had to call in an airstrike on one of its own ammunition dumps in northern Syria because the cargo trucks required to safely remove the ammo are needed elsewhere to support the withdrawal, Task & Purpose has learned.

Read More Show Less