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Court Martial Concludes Following Death Of Coast Guard Member In Unalaska

Berett Wilber

A general court martial concluded Thursday for a Coast Guardsman accused of violating six articles under the Uniform Code of Military Justice related to the death of his shipmate in Unalaska in January of 2019.

The court martial of Seaman Ethan Tucker, convened by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area commander, began Sept. 8. 

A military judge found Tucker not guilty of Article 119, involuntary manslaughter, and Article 134, negligent homicide, according to Senior Chief NyxoLyno Cangemi. However, the judge did find Tucker guilty of the remainder of his charges: one specification of Article 107, false official statement; one specification of Article 128, assault consummated by a battery; one specification of Article 92, violation of a general order for consuming alcohol underage; and one specification of Article 134 for doing or failing to do certain acts that contributed to a Coast Guard member's death, which was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the Armed Forces. 

Tucker was sentenced to a bad conduct discharge, reduction to paygrade E-1 — which is the lowest in the Coast Guard — and 14 months confinement in a military prison. He will be serving his sentence in the Naval Consolidated Brig, in Miramar, California, according to Cangemi. 

"Once he's done finishing his sentence, he'll receive a bad conduct discharge and will be dismissed from serving in the U.S. military," Cangemi said. "When he receives his discharge papers, if he were to go apply for a job and they find out that he has any type of military service, and they look into it, they could see that he had a bad conduct discharge, they could see the court martial on there, the reduction of pay grade, and the confinement — so it's a big deal living on the outside, in the civilian world, with a bad military record."

Cangemi said Tucker can appeal the ruling.   

Hope McKenney is a public radio news director, reporter, producer and host based in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
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