In an interesting development in the murder trial of Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, two of the four accused special operators are negotiating plea deals with the government in exchange for information about the murder. According to the Military Times and the Daily Beast, these men are Navy SEAL Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews and Marine Raider Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell.
Grover Baxley, the civilian attorney of Chief Special Warfare Operator Matthews said that his client “does look forward to getting an opportunity to explain the details of what actually happened in Mali in June 2017, since much of the reporting over the past 21 months has contained wildly inaccurate information. Most importantly, though, SOC Matthews hopes that he can assist the Melgar family in reaching some semblance of closure for this tragic situation.”
The other two accused special operators, SEAL Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Anthony DeDolph and Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez, aren’t seeking plea agreements, according to their lawyers.
The two SEALs were assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), another title for SEAL Team 6. The two Marine Raiders were part of the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC). The four operators face numerous charges, including felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy obstruction of justice, hazing, and burglary.
More specifically, they’re accused of attacking, binding with duct tape, and choking to death Staff Sergeant Melgar, a Special Forces non-commissioned officer assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group. They’re also accused of lying to Army and Navy investigators about the incident, and going to extremes to extremes to hide evidence. For instance, they performed a tracheotomy on an unconscious Staff Sergeant Melgar in an attempt to conceal choke bruises inflicted during the fight.
All four suspects are on administrative hold but not in pretrial confinement.
During the initial phases of the investigation, Michelle Melgar, the widow of Staff Sergeant Melgar told NEWSREP: “I fully support SOCOM, NCIS, and the prosecutors. It is important to me that we continue to support all of our special operators and their efforts to work together. The actions of these individuals are not a direct reflection on the organizations themselves. I am grateful for the continued support that SOCOM has shown me and my family throughout the investigation.”
Staff Sergeant Melgar deployed twice in Afghanistan with the 3rd Special Forces Group. In Mali, he was a member of a joint SOF team that provided security and intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism capabilities to the American Embassy in Bamako.
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