Captains of USS Fitzgerald, McCain face murder court martials
USS John McCain
The recent collisions of two U.S. Navy ships with larger vessels in the Pacific, which left 17 sailors dead, have produced charges against the commanders and officers of the American ships.
After careful deliberation, today Admiral Frank Caldwell the authority charged with reviewing both cases, announced that Uniform Code of Military Justice charges are being preferred against individual service members in relation to the collisions.
USS Fitzgerald: Courts-martial proceedings/Article 32 hearings are being convened to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against Fitzgerald members. The members' ranks include the ship's former Commander Bryce Benson, two Lieutenants, and one Lieutenant Junior Grade. The charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel, and negligent homicide.
USS John S. McCain: Additionally, for John S. McCain, one court- martial proceeding/Article 32 hearing is being convened to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against former Commander Alfredo J. Sanchez. The charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel, and negligent homicide. Also, one charge of dereliction of duty was preferred and is pending referral to a forum for a Chief Petty Officer. The announcement of an Article 32 hearing and referral to a court-martial is not intended to and does not reflect a determination of guilt or innocence related to any offenses. All individuals alleged to have committed misconduct are entitled to a presumption of innocence. Additional administrative actions are being conducted for members of both crews including non-judicial punishment for four Fitzgerald and four John S. McCain crewmembers.