Officer in San Diego Bay boat crash sentenced to pay cut - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Officer in San Diego Bay boat crash sentenced to pay cut

CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) - A Coast Guard petty officer who was aboard a patrol vessel that crashed into a smaller boat during the Parade of Lights in San Diego Bay, killing a Rancho Penasquitos boy, pleaded guilty Tuesday to dereliction of duty.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Ian M. Howell, the highest-ranking member on the patrol boat, was immediately sentenced to:

-- reduction in rate from E5 to E4;

-- forfeiture of two-thirds monthly pay for one month; and

-- restriction for 30 days.

Last week, the pilot of the Coast Guard patrol boat, Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Ramos, was convicted of the same charge as Howell and was sentenced to three months confinement, reduction in rank and forfeiture of a portion of his pay for three months.

A military jury acquitted Ramos of negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter.

Ramos and four crew members were in their seven-ton, 33-foot patrol vessel on the way to help another boat stuck in the mud on Dec. 20, 2009, when it crashed into the back of a 24-foot boat, killing Anthony DeWeese and injuring several others in the pleasure boat.

The jury faulted Ramos for not doing a risk assessment before taking off on the nighttime mission.

Petty Officer Brittany Rasmussen pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty for her role as a lookout on the Coast Guard vessel and received a reprimand letter. Charges against Petty Officer Lavelle Teague were dropped due to lack of evidence.

A fifth crew member aboard the Coast Guard boat for training was not charged.

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