Two Virginia Beach-based Navy SEALs and two Marines have been charged with murder in connection with the 2017 death of a Green Beret in Africa.
The SEALs are both chief petty officers assigned to Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly referred to as SEAL Team 6.
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.
The Marines in the case are assigned to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, known as Raiders, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. One is a staff sergeant and the other is a gunnery sergeant.
If convicted, all four could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole. The Navy has not released the names of those facing charges and redacted them from publicly released charge sheets.
The decision to proceed with charges was made by Adm. Charles Rock, commander of Norfolk-based Navy Region Mid-Atlantic after he was provided a Naval Criminal Investigative Service report into the death.
The military equivalent of a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 10 at Naval Station Norfolk. The purpose of the hearing, called an Article 32 investigation, is to consider the form of the charges and make a recommendation on them.
In May, Melgar's name was inscribed on the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Memorial Wall at Fort Bragg, N.C.
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President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
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It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.