Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar was found dead that strangulation ~ above June 4, 2017, in real estate he common with three other special operations forces personnel in Bamako, Mali. (Army)
A marine SEAL fee in the strangulation death of an military Green Beret staff sergeant in 2017 pleaded guilty to reduced charges today.

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During a hearing in ~ Naval terminal Norfolk, Virginia, marine Chief distinct Warfare Operator Tony E. DeDolph pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, obstruction of justice, conspiracy charges related to assault and also obstruction of justice, and also hazing.

DeDolph deals with a maximum penalty of 22 years, six months in prison, palliation to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and also allowances, a fine and also dishonorable discharge.


Navy SEAL agrees come plead guilty in strangulation fatality of army Green Beret employee sergeantOne defendant continues to be scheduled because that trial in the 2017 case.
Arguments by both the prosecution and defense in regard to sentencing started Thursday and are reserved to continue tomorrow. The sentencing hear is scheduled for Tuesday, following the Monday commonwealth holiday.

DeDolph’s civilian attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, mutual a statement on behalf of his client following the Thursday listening in i beg your pardon he said that the incident started as a prank and was never ever intended to hurt Melgar.

“Staff Sergeant Melgar’s death was one accident and unintentional and also a tragedy for all the knew him,” follow to the statement.

DeDolph is the third defendant come plead guilty of the four service members charged in connection with the June 4, 2017, death of employee Sgt. Logan Melgar in Bamako, Mali.

Marine Raider Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez is reserved to stand trial Feb. 1. He deals with felony killing charges along with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, assault, hazing and burglary. If judge of the murder charge, the would confront a life sentence.

Fellow SEAL marine Chief SWO Adam C. Matthews and also Marine Raider employee Sgt. Kevin Maxwell Jr., who had actually originally to be charged with murder, formerly pleaded guilty to lesser charges and also agreed come testify on instead of of the prosecution.

All four men and others loosely connected to the situation were in Mali for counterterrorism operations related to the U.S. Embassy there.

Matthews was the very first to plead and also laid out numerous details the the incident.

“I cannot define how sorry i am for the death of employee Sgt. Melgar,” Matthews testified in a armed forces courtroom in Norfolk in may 2019.

“I’ve lugged the weight of employee Sgt. Logan Melgar’s fatality every minute the every day because that night in Mali,” Matthews said. “I am tormented by my complacency at a time once my teammates forced guidance and also the case required bold, decisive action. This was my fault and I accept complete responsibility because that the after-effects of my negative decision.”

Matthews obtained a sentence the one-year confinement and a poor conduct discharge. Maxwell pleaded guilty a month later on to negligent homicide, hazing and also making false official statements. He to be sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Both testified that they, along with DeDolph and also Madera-Rodriguez, together planned come break right into Melgar’s room, duct tape that and video record the in a sexually ashamed embarassing act.

The quartet to plan their attack during one all-night bar-hopping and drinking session. They supplied a sledgehammer at about 5 a.m. Come break open Melgar’s door and surprise him together he slept, the men testified.


Navy Chief special Warfare Operator Tony E. DeDolph pleaded guilty come involuntary manslaughter and other fees Jan. 14 at Naval base Norfolk, Virginia, in connection with the June 2017 death of staff Sgt. Logan Melgar. (Todd South/Staff)

Melgar awoke immediately, DeDolph, a former professional mixed martial art fighter, climate pounced ~ above Melgar, placing him in a choke hold; the other males secured his arms and legs and also began come duct tape him, follow to testimony.

Seconds after gift locked in the throttle hold, Melgar stopped breathing. The males told investigators they started to command lifesaving aid. Yet Melgar later died at a adjacent medical facility.

The entire incident remained in retaliation for a viewed slight and also ongoing tension between Melgar and some the the other men.

Witnesses in ~ the might 2019 hearing because that Matthews testified the Melgar was fed up v the “juvenile” habits of the SEALs and Marines and also couldn’t wait come conclude his deployment ― reserved to end a couple of weeks later.

Within minute of Melgar’s death, the 4 men hatched a setup to cover increase the crime and also proceeded come lie to multiple investigators end the next couple of weeks.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and also the army for many publications since 2004 and was called a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written task on angry intimidation. Todd is a maritime veteran of the Iraq War.


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