Staff Sgt. Ladonies Strong, the soldier charged in September over a deadly vehicle rollover at West Point, will face trial by court-martial, Military.com reported and Task & Purpose confirmed.
“The commanding general made the decision to refer the charges against [Strong] to a court-martial based on the facts presented during the Article 32 hearing in October,” 3rd Infantry Division spokesman Lt. Col. Patrick Husted said in a statement.
The June rollover killed 22-year-old Cadet Christopher J. Morgan — hailed as a “talented, hardworking, and determined athlete,” with a “heart big enough to love everyone around him,” by his West Point wrestling coach — and injured two soldiers and 19 other cadets.
Cadet Christopher J. Morgan.U.S. Military Academy photo
Strong was charged with one specification of involuntary manslaughter, reckless operation of a vehicle, negligent homicide, and prevention of authorized seizure of property, along with two specifications of dereliction of duty.
Strong had an Article 32 hearing scheduled in October. According to Military.com, she declined to make a statement during the hearing.
“The charges are merely accusations,” Husted said. “And Staff Sgt. Strong is presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial.”
The time of the court-martial will be decided by a military judge, per Husted.