A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.
Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews pleaded guilty last month to hazing, assault consummated by battery, unlawful entry, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to commit assault, in connection for his role in Melgar's death in Mali.
On June 4, 2017, Matthews, three other U.S. service members, a British special operator, and a Malian security guard broke into Melgar's room with the intent of binding the Green Beret's wrists and ankles and making a video of the security guard sexually assaulting him.
Melgar died from asphyxiation after Navy Special Operations Chief Tony DeDolph placed him in a choke hold.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating allegations that Matthews spoke to Melgar's widow Michelle about the case when the two met this past January at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas, the Washington Post's Lamothe reported on Wednesday.
In court documents obtained by the Washington Post, witnesses told investigators that Matthews was trying to be "flirtatious" and "cozy" with Michelle Melgar but he did not attempt to touch or kiss her.
Former Special Forces Chief Warrant Officer 3 J.P. Cervantes, a Melgar family spokesman, first described the alleged incident in a May 11 Instagram post that alleged Matthews was attending a costume party dressed as Rambo when he approached Michelle Melgar using the false name "Mike."
"Once he realized who she was, he was trying to vouch for the '2 guys' of the team who killed Logan, saying they are his best friends, are really good guys, and she should try to help them," Cervantes wrote. "Then saying: 'If you would just sit down and have a conversation with the two guys who did this, you would love them. They're really not bad people. This has ruined their lives and careers."
Matthews allegedly texted Michelle the next day asking if he could take a nap in her room, but she refused, Cervantes wrote. She only learned who Matthews really was when she later saw pictures of the service members accused of killing her husband.
The Daily Beast's Kevin Maurer first reported on Tuesday about Matthews' alleged contact with Michelle Melgar.
Navy spokeswoman Elizabeth Baker declined to comment on the matter on Wednesday, citing an "ongoing investigation."
Matthews' attorney Grover Baxley told Task & Purpose that his client "unintentionally met briefly" with Michelle Melgar when they both attended SHOT Show.
"This meeting was an innocent coincidence with zero romantic intent by either individual," Baxley said in an email. "Following his court-martial, SOC Matthews and Mrs. Melgar discussed their chance meeting with each other, and neither bear any ill will towards the other from this situation.
"In addition, I have discussed this situation at length with the prosecution, and I do not anticipate any disciplinary action being taken against SOC Matthews for this unintentional meeting."