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.
©2018 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.