Navy SEALS, Marines charged in murder of Green Beret

Elias Hubbard
November 17, 2018

The Navy has formally accused a member of SEAL Team 6 with choking a Green Beret to death previous year, and then using his field medic skills to cut open the victim's throat in an effort to fake a lifesaving technique and cover up the murder.

The charges do not allege a specific motive.

The documents released by the military portray a premeditated assault that turned deadly, followed by a multistep, monthslong cover-up by the accused SEALs and Marines.

Navy prosecutors say Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar was asleep when four fellow special operators burst into his locked room, bound him with duct tape and put him in a choke hold that killed him.

What are they accused of?

One of the elite troops put Staff Sgt Melgar in a fatal chokehold that was "inherently unsafe to another and evinced wanton disregard for human life", according to the charge sheets, which were released on Thursday.

CNN previously reported that two members of SEAL Team Six were under investigation.

The two Marines are listed as being part of Special Operations Command. The SEALs belong to the Navy Special Warfare Development Group.

The four special operations troops face charges of felony murder, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, burglary, hazing and involuntary manslaughter, according to the Daily Beast, which broke the news of the charges Thursday.

According to a former SEAL Team 6 leader, who still consults for the unit, the command's leadership quietly encouraged the Navy to prosecute DeDolph and Matthews in an effort to distance the SEAL command from the potential reputational stain stemming from the incident. A preliminary hearing to review the case against all four service members is scheduled for December 10 at a Navy base in nearby Norfolk.

What has the reaction been?

The two Marines are members of the Marine Special Operations Command, based at Camp Lejeune, said MARSOC spokesman Maj.

When Melgar died, the suspects changed their story several times, first saying they found him unresponsive and later saying they were practicing hand-to-hand combat at 4 a.m. while Melgar was drunk, according to authorities in the Army Times report. Toxicology reports showed Melgar did not have alcohol in his system, and his friends said he did not drink, the Times reports.

In a statement to the Daily Beast, Staff Sgt Melgar's wife said: "While I have faith that the military court will handle this situation in the best possible way, I also understand that the mission continues".

The charges come as the Pentagon announced that they are reducing the numbers of USA counter-terrorism troops in Africa by about 700.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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