Marine to Be Court Martialed for Involvement in Toddler's Death

Marine to be court martialed for involvement in toddler's death

Last week, the U.S. Marine Corps decided to bring Lance Cpl. Jared T. Cardwell to trial for his alleged involvement in the death of 20-month-old Celine Marie Matus. Charges against Cardwell were announced last June; they include charges of unpremeditated murder and involuntary manslaughter by culpable negligence.

Celine Marie, Lance Cpl. Cardwell's stepdaughter, died on base at Marine Corp Air Station Yuma on May 19 this year. Cardwell was arrested three days later.

The decision to proceed with a court martial was made after an Article 32 hearing was convened and evidence was heard relating to the charges against Cardwell. The hearing – which is similar to a civilian preliminary hearing to determine whether probable cause exists – took place on September 14 at MCAS Miramar in San Diego.

Now that the legal officer presiding over Cardwell's Article 32 hearing recommended that the charges be pursued, Maj. Gen. Mike Rocco, the commanding officer of the 3rd Marine Air Wing, will review the decision and make a final determination about whether to convene a court martial.

Capt. Melanie Salinas, public affairs officer for the 3rd Marine Air Wing at MCAS Miramar, expects Maj. Gen. Rocco's decision to be made in the next few weeks.

Categories: Murder, Marines
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