Coast Guard: Crew to be tried in fatal San Diego Bay crash - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Coast Guard: Crew to be tried in fatal San Diego Bay crash

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Anthony Deweese was killed and several members of his family's boating party were badly hurt Dec. 20 when the Coast Guard boat slammed into the back of their recreational vessel. Anthony Deweese was killed and several members of his family's boating party were badly hurt Dec. 20 when the Coast Guard boat slammed into the back of their recreational vessel.
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SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Coast Guard has ordered three petty officers to stand trial in a San Diego Bay crash that killed an 8-year-old boy during a holiday boat parade, an official said Wednesday.

Rear Adm. Joseph R. Castillo ordered the courts-martial after reviewing a report that concluded there was no legal justification for the Dec. 20, 2009, crash, Lt. Cmdr. Rick Foster said.

The Coast Guard boat was responding to reports of a grounded vessel when it collided with the pleasure boat carrying the boy.

Anthony DeWeese of Rancho Penasquitos was killed and several members of his family's boating party were badly hurt when the Coast Guard boat slammed into the back of their recreational vessel during the annual holiday Parade of Lights on San Diego Harbor.

The youngster was rushed to UCSD Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. A 4-year-old boy who had been sitting next to Anthony on the 24-foot pleasure boat, called the Sea Ray, suffered a fractured skull.

Petty Officers Paul A. Ramos, the commander of the boat, Ian M. Howell and Brittany N. Rasmussen have pleaded not guilty in military court. They blamed the crash on mechanical defects, poor training and lax leadership.

Ramos faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter, punishable by up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted. Howell and Rasmussen are charged with! negligent homicide and could spend up to three years in prison if found guilty.

A military judge will be appointed and set a trial date.

A fourth crew member, Petty Officer Lavelle M. Teague, was charged with dereliction of duty. His case was being handled administratively, with punishment that could include up to 30 days of correctional custody, reductions in rank, forfeitures of pay, and restriction to base.

Calls left for attorneys representing the boy's family and some of the petty officers were not immediately returned.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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