NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — Four military personnel have been charged in connection with the June 2017 death of an Army Green Beret in the African country of Mali.
The two Navy SEALs and two Marines, who have not been publicly identified, are charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, hazing and burglary.
Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, 34, was found dead June 4, 2017 near the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, in housing he shared with other military personnel.
Authorities say in charging documents that the service members broke into Melgar's bedroom while he was sleeping, bound him with duct tape and put him into a choke hold that strangled him.
The service members are also accused of lying to Navy commanders and investigators about what happened.
Melgar's wife, Michelle, was notified that her husband's death was ruled a homicide, CNN reported. Contacted by the news outlet in October 2017, Michelle Melgar said she was not yet willing to discuss the case.
"I ask for privacy during this time. I hope that you will allow me to tell my story when I'm ready," she said. "I knew him best — he was my best friend. It's all so new — I'm sorry."
The two Marines are listed as being part of Special Operations Command. The SEALs belong to the Virginia Beach-based Navy Special Warfare Development Group. The unit is better known as SEAL Team 6, which participated in the May 2011 raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden at his compound.
U.S. Navy Captain Jason Salata, a spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command, said Thursday that "we honor the memory of Staff Sgt. Melgar."
"We will not allow allegations or substantiated incidents of misconduct to erode decades of honorable accomplishments by the members of US Special Operations Command."
A preliminary hearing for the suspects is currently scheduled for December 10 in Norfolk. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service conducted the investigation.
USA TODAY and The Associated Press contributed to this report
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