A U.S. Navy SEAL who was involved in the death of U.S. Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar in 2017 was sentenced to a year in military prison Thursday, according to Time.
The SEAL, Adam Matthews, was sentenced in Norfolk, Virginia after accepting a plea deal, pleading guilty to hazing and assault and testifying against others involved in the crime in exchange for the dropping of a murder charge.
How did Melgar die?
Matthews, along with another SEAL and two Marines, broke down Melgar’s door with a sledgehammer one night in 2017 while they were stationed in Mali. They then bound Melgar’s hands and feet with duct tape.
Matthews said the other SEAL put Melgar in a chokehold, at which point Melgar became unresponsive and the group was not able to resuscitate him.
The act of hazing was allegedly in response to some perceived slights Melgar had committed against the others, Matthews testified. One incident mentioned was Melgar driving off from the others on the way to a party at a diplomatic embassy.
Matthews, who said he was “truly sorry” for what happened, said they only meant to haze and embarrass Melgar, not harm him.
What did Melgar’s family say?
Melgar’s widow, Michelle, thanked Matthews for his testimony, and said that Melgar had told her he was having trouble with some “immature” SEALS.
Melgar’s mother, however, did not offer any thanks or sympathy to one of the men responsible for her son’s death.
“You are a disgrace to your Purple Heart,” Nitza Melgar reportedly said.
What about the others?
Matthews was the first of the four allegedly involved service members to have his case heard before military court. The other cases will be impacted by Matthews’ plea deal and testimony, and his continued cooperation could further determine the fate of the other men who were present the night Melgar died.