Navy SEAL Gets 10 Years for His Role in Green Beret’s Death

| January 26, 2021

Slain Green Beret SSG Logan Melgar

One of the men involved in the death of US Army Green Beret Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar in Mali. KoB sends this from NBC New York;

A U.S. Navy SEAL has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the hazing death of a U.S. Army Green Beret while the men served together in Africa. The SEAL’s attorney said he plans to appeal the punishment.

Tony DeDolph received the sentence Saturday from a jury of fellow servicemembers at a Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia, the Navy said in a statement Monday. He had pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and related counts Jan. 14.

DeDolph had placed Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar into a martial-arts-style chokehold to try to make him temporarily lose consciousness during what the SEAL said was a prank. Melgar died of strangulation.

DeDolph is one of four service members — two SEALs and two Marines — to be charged in Melgar’s 2017 death in the African country of Mali. Charging documents do not state why the service members were there. But U.S. Special Forces have been in Africa to support and train local troops in their fight against extremists.

DeDolph testified during his court-martial that they were trying to get back at Melgar for perceived slights. The other SEAL, Adam Matthews, testified in 2019 that the perceived slights included an incident in which Melgar was driving his motorcycle to a party at a diplomatic embassy in the capital city of Bamako. Two Marines were following in another vehicle before Melgar drove off, Matthews said. Matthews suggested that the Marines felt Melgar had abandoned them in an unsafe city that’s been the target of terrorist activity.

The service members plotted to get Melgar back with an elaborate prank known as as a “tape job,” DeDolph testified earlier this month. The prank included binding Melgar with duct tape, applying the choke hold to temporarily knock him out and then showing Melgar a video of the incident sometime later.

The case has pulled back the curtain on misconduct among some of America’s most elite service members, while offering a brief window into how some have addressed grievances outside the law.

DeDolph is a member of the elite SEAL Team 6. Besides the prison time, his sentence strips him of his pay and his rank of chief petty officer. He’ll also receive a dishonorable discharge. The punishment still must receive official approval from an admiral.

DeDolph had faced a maximum sentence of 22 1/2 years in prison.

DeDolph’s attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, told The Associated Press in an email that the sentence will be appealed.

Stackhouse also expressed concerns about the length of the jury’s deliberations, which he believes were not long enough to reasonably take a full measure of DeDolph’s accomplishments as a SEAL and as a person.

Stackhouse said there were well over 100 pages of character statements as well as evaluations from superiors and classified documents that detailed DeDolph’s heroism in combat. DeDolph was shot in the shoulder “and stayed in a firefight for another hour and a half and then stayed with his team to finish the deployment,” Stackhouse said.

“I wish people could see what the jury had access to review,” Stackhouse said. “On multiple occasions, his actions and heroism and that of three or four other guys with him are going to have a lasting impact on our country. And nobody is going to know what he did.”

Matthews, the other SEAL, and Marine Kevin Maxwell Jr. have already pleaded guilty to lesser charges and were sentenced to shorter terms in military prison. Another Marine, Mario Madera-Rodriguez, is scheduled for court-martial in April.

These are supposed to be the creme de la creme, the best of the best of the best. This guy was a senior NCO and a member of SEAL Team Six and he’s conducting deadly “pranks” because of the performance of one of his teammates.

Tens years for being the ultimate blue falcon and killing your own teammate is nowhere near enough, but I will join you all in saying “Adios.”


 

Category: "Teh Stoopid", "Truth or fiction?", Army, Blue Falcons, Crime, Guest Link, Navy

Comments (17)

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  1. Hack Stone says:

    Stackhouse also expressed concerns about the length of the jury’s deliberations, which he believes were not long enough to reasonably take a full measure of DeDolph’s accomplishments as a SEAL and as a person.

    Okay, fair enough. Now take full measure Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar’s accomplishments. You would think that by the time someone reached the rank of Chief Petty Officer, they would know not to do stupid shit.

    On the plus side, he will probably be the dominant inmate in the prison yard.

    • Deckie says:

      As both a SEAL and a person he proved to be a tremendous walking pile of shit.

      There. Didn’t need to deliberate long at all.

    • rgr1480 says:

      What’s that old saying: “One ‘Aw Shit” wipes out 100 Ataboys.”

      I’d say that homicide/murder involuntary manslaughter cancels all previous heroics.

      And I read that it was a bit more severe than just “hazing” him — had to do with violating his fourth point of contact and showing him the video later.

      Disgusting!

      • 5JC says:

        Navy guys definitely play different pranks than Army guys! Rape and forcible Sodomy are crimes in the Army.

    • MI Ranger says:

      Yeah, I guess they should have taken in to account his great service record and heroism that he previously accomplished…
      Jury Member: “Man this guy had really been in a lot of difficult situations and had to make split second decisions that could cost him his life or the life of his team members!”

      Other Jury Member: “Yeah, I wonder why this time was so different that he not only attacked his own team member, but killed him? Perhaps there is more in this stack of evidence that will point out what he was doing that he needed to kill his fellow team member?”

      Jury Member: ” Oh, wow… this guy should go to prison for the rest of his life for that. Is the Death Penalty an option?”

      Other Other Jury Member: “No the death penalty is not an option. But yes, we definitely need to send this guy away for a very long time for what he did. He disgraced every SEAL by his actions!”

      Other Jury Member: “Maybe we should be a little lenient after all he has done for his country…maybe all the stress just got to him. How about we cut his sentence in half because of all the other teammates he pulled out of the $h!t?”

      The Rest of the Jury: “Ok, I guess we can reduce his sentence to just Ten years.”

  2. Sapper3307 says:

    Bring back the 6-12 month probationary time between BUDS and getting pined.
    IMHO
    RIP

  3. Graybeard says:

    I don’t care what the blue falcon did in the past.

    Doing something stupid that directly led to the death of another warrior – and not even something stupid in battle, just a deep-dive blue falcon action, should result in the death of the perp.

    10 years is not justice. That is mercy.

    • Hondo says:

      10 years is not justice. That is mercy.

      Agreed. IMO 10 years for committing murder is getting off easy.

      It also sounds to me that contrary to his “lawer’s” protests, the court-martial panel DID take DeDolph’s prior military accomplishments into account. He was facing up to 22 1/2 years hard time and got less than half of that.

  4. KoB says:

    Only takes one (1) Awwww Shit!!! to take away a thousand (1,000) attaboys! Dumbass! And your dumbass co-horts too!

    Ten years from now when he becomes a released murderer, the victim of his stupidity will still be dead. RIP SSG Logan Melgar.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    “DeDolph testified during his court-martial that they were trying to get back at Melgar for perceived slights.” – article

    Perceived slights? That’s a reason to act like an asshole? Please let me know when these assholes grow up, willya, because I want my tax money back.

    • Ret_25X says:

      they never grow up. They retire and write half assed books full of lies or join up with Antifa and BLM to burn, kill, and loot or they get into drug trafficking.

      Wow, that explains our own dear Dumbkopf!

  6. Devtun says:

    Prison Cell Six. Very costly ‘prank’.

  7. UpNorth says:

    Involuntary manslaughter is backing up out of the driveway without checking and killing someone on the sidewalk, or swinging a bat at a hornet’s nest and, instead, hitting someone in the head, killing them.
    This was murder, likely premeditated murder. The sumbitch should be dancing in his cell that he only got 10 years, and the DD and loss of benefits.

    • Hondo says:

      The trial was a court-martial. It was thus required to use UCMJ definitions of the crimes.

      As I read it, DeDeolph could have been convicted of either Article 118 for Murder (specifically either 10 USC 918(2) or more likely 18 USC 918(3)) or Article 119 for Manslaughter (specifically 10 USC 919(2)). IMO the latter would have been a shoe-in, and DeDolph’s guilty plea indicates (to me at least) he probably knew that. However, IMO the former might have been difficult to prove at trial; the prosecution would have had to prove either intent or wanton disregard, and my sense is that’s always iffy. (FWIW: I’m not a lawyer, so that last point concerning proving intent/wanton disregard is just my general impression based on past observation as an outsider of how the legal system actually works. I’m not speaking from any type of professional experience.)

      I’d guess this was the result of a plea bargain to drop the most serious charge (murder) in return for a guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter and at least some of the other crimes (max for involuntary manslaughter under the UCMJ seems to be 10 years). The fact that the original charges appear to have included felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, obstruction of justice, hazing and burglary supports that possibility. Both DeDolph and the Marine still pending trial were originally facing the possibility of life in prison.

  8. Slow Joe says:

    So, what of the reports that there was money involved, that the SEALs were putting their hands inside the cookie jar, amd were afraid the SF guy was going to tell?