Navy SEAL pleads guilty to role in hazing death of Green Beret

Navy SEAL details death of Green Beret, admitting to hazing and assault, sentenced to 12 months
Posted at 4:16 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 16:16:33-05

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A U.S. Navy SEAL has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for his role in the hazing death of a U.S. Army Green Beret in Africa.

Chief Petty Officer Tony DeDolph pleaded guilty Thursday in a military courtroom at a Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Green Beret who died was Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar. DeDolph offered a detailed account of the night in 2017 when he and other services members tried to prank Melgar over perceived slights.

DeDolph said he placed Melgar in a chokehold to make him temporarily lose consciousness. But he said Melgar never woke up. DeDolph faces a maximum of 22 1/2 years in prison.

Three other American service members were also charged.

Back in 2019 locally-based Navy SEAL Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews reached a plea agreement with prosecutors over his involvement in Melgar’s death. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit assault, unlawful entry, assault, hazing and obstruction of justice, according to his attorney, Grover Baxley.

Related: Marine charged in death of Green Beret sentenced to 4 years