An expert explains what’s next in the investigation.

On June 4, Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar — a 34-year-old Army Green Beret — was found dead in US Embassy housing in Mali while he was on a secret assignment. Investigators currently believe he was strangled to death — and that two members of SEAL Team 6 may have killed him.

Murder among US service members is relatively rare, but it’s especially shocking to see that the two suspects — Petty Officer Anthony DeDolph, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter, and a still-unnamed sailor, both Melgar’s roommates — form part of one of the most revered military units in the United States. SEAL Team 6 became internationally famous for successfully killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.

The probe is ongoing, and no one has yet been charged with a crime. But it appears the suspected SEALs changed their story about what happened. They first told investigators that they found Melgar dead around 5 am on June 4. But after an autopsy showed Melgar died of asphyxiation, the SEALs said the three of them were wrestling when Melgar passed out, after which they tried to get Melgar medical attention. The two SEALs left Mali and are now on administrative leave.

I reached out to Geoffrey Corn, a 21-year Army veteran and military justice expert at South Texas College of Law Houston, to find out what to expect with the investigation, possible trial and the complications that may arise. Corn even mentioned that the suspects could face the death penalty if the evidence is overwhelming.

This conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.


Alex Ward

What were your first thoughts when you heard about the incident?

Geoffrey Corn

The fact that investigators initially became suspicious that it was Read More Here