In another page to the legal saga behind the murder of Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar, the Navy announced that U.S. Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator Tony E. Dedolph (SEAL) and U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Mario A. Madero-Rodriguez have been referred to a General Court Martial for the murder of the Green Beret in Bamako, in 2017.
According to a Navy press release by the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs Office, SOC Dedolph is facing charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for “Conspiracy, Assault; Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice; Burglary; Felony Murder; Involuntary Manslaughter; Hazing; and Obstruction of Justice.” And Gunny Madero-Rodriguez is facing charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for “Conspiracy, Assault; Conspiracy, Obstruction of Justice; Burglary; Felony Murder; Involuntary Manslaughter; Hazing; and False Official Statements.”
In addition to these charges, it was revealed recently that military prosecutors are seeking to add rape charges against the Marine Raider and Navy SEAL. During the pre-trial testimonies, evidence came into light that the two operators, alongside with another Marine Raider (Staff Sergeant Kevin Maxwell) and Navy SEAL (Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews), were planning on sexually assaulting SSG Melgar and recording the incident with the intention of embarrassing the Green Beret beyond all measure.
If SOC Dedolph and Gunny Madero-Rodriguez are found guilty of the charges, or even of some of them, they could be imprisoned for life without the possibility of parole. Moreover – and what should be the least of their concerns at this point – they could be reduced in rank, back to E-1, forfeit all of their pay and allowances, and receive a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge from the military.
The other two, Sgt. Maxwell and SOC Matthews, have pleaded guilty of the charges in an attempt to reduce the strictness of their sentence.
The two SEALs were assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), another title for SEAL Team 6, and the two Marine Raiders were part of the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC). Alongside SSG Melgar, they were part of a joint Special Operations team that was providing counterterrorism support and protection to the American embassy in Bamako, Mali.
Without question, the case is something that all parties concerned wish to leave behind. But not before justice is served for the death of SSG Melgar.