Retired Army Major General, TTU Law Professor weighs in on Green Beret homicide investigation

Retired Army Major General, TTU Law Professor weighs in on Green Beret homicide investigation
Logan J. Melgar (Source: U.S. Army)
Logan J. Melgar (Source: U.S. Army)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A new report unveils a possible motive behind the death of Sgt. Logan Melgar, a Green Beret and Lubbock native. Walter Huffman, Dean Emeritus of Texas Tech University's School of Law and retired U.S. Army Major General finds it hard to believe and is eagerly awaiting the findings of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

Two members of the Navy's SEAL Team Six are accused in a Daily Beast article of killing Melgar on June 4 after he discovered they were stealing money used to pay informants during their mission in the African nation of Mali.

Initially investigators were told Navy SEAL Tony DeDolph and Melgar were in Melgar's room at 4 a.m. wrestling when another SEAL, Adamcranston Matthews, entered the room and the three fell on Melgar's bed, with Matthews on top of Melgar.

Once they got off of Melgar they realized he wasn't breathing so they attempted CPR and cut an airway in his throat.

They then took him to a clinic where he was pronounced dead.

According to documents from an army investigation obtained by NBC News one of the SEALs told a witness he choked Melgar out and that he and another SEAL were out to get back at Melgar after they felt he intentionally tried to evade them while he was driving to a party.

The witness also said they may have used duct tape on Melgar.

This new information comes after a report from the Daily Beast that says Melgar discovered the SEALs were pocketing money from a fund used to pay informants.

Huffman says he's in disbelief because elite members of the armed services are involved.

"I would have to say, in my experience, as someone once told me when I was a young prosecutor in the Army, 'Most of your cases are going to deal with money, sex or drugs,'" Huffman said. "Unfortunately, in my experience, those seem to be the three weaknesses of all human beings. Most of the cases in which I was involved as a trial lawyer did involve one of those three things. Money is a problem for people. It's certainly not impossible but I would be very hesitant to speculate that happened. We'll see what the investigation says."

According to Huffman, the NCIS is gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses to determine if this death was accidental or if the SEALs in fact intentionally killed Melgar.

"If it were some lesser form of criminal homicide: voluntary manslaughter, negligent homicide being the least form of criminal homicide, that will determine what charges if any would be filed against these SEALs and if they would face court-martial, a military jury and judge in this case," Huffman said.

Huffman expects the investigation to take longer than normal as the incident happened overseas. He says that delays investigators access to evidence and the process may require clearing investigators to access classified information.

"Often times you are dealing with foreign police who are also involved in this case and their bureaucracy may be more cumbersome," Huffman said. "Sometimes you are dealing with witnesses who require translators or may be uncooperative to start with so the whole thing becomes longer. The whole investigation becomes longer just by the fact it occurred overseas. I hate to speculate but due to the high profile of this case, NCIS I'm sure is devoting significant resources to resolving it as soon as they can."

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