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What's next in fraggin case

Post commander has say over court martial

POSTED: April 20, 2009 10:42 a.m.
U.S. Army photo/

Sgt. Joseph C. Bozicevich

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Now that the Article 32 hearing for Sgt. Joseph C. Bozicevich has ended, it will be up to Fort Stewart’s commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo to determine what actions the soldier will face next.
Bozicevich, 39, of Minneapolis, has been charged with two counts of premeditated murder for the Sept. 14 killings of his squad leader, Staff Sgt. Darris Dawson, and fellow team leader Sgt. Wesley Durbin, while they were deployed to Iraq and working at a patrol base south of Baghdad.
The hearing ended Wednesday with the defense arguing his actions were in self-defense. Military prosecutors contend there is “ample evidence” to move forward with at least a general court-martial.
According to Maj. Jacqueline Emanuel, chief of administrative law for Fort Stewart’s Staff Judge Advocates, Bozicevich could face life in prison or death, if Cucolo decides to proceed with the court martial.
Cucolo, Emanuel said, will make his choice of action based off of a summary report detailing the facts found in the case from the investigating officer, Col. Michael J. Hargis.
“Typically, the IO will recommend [whatever] level of court martial the accused should receive,” she said. “He could say that Sgt. Bozicevich is not responsible or he could recommend he receive a court martial.”
“Ultimately, the decision will be up to the convening authority, which in this case is Maj. Gen. Cucolo,” she said.
Emanuel said Bozicevich could receive a lower level of court martial or the case could be referred as a capital case.
“It would be very unusual for someone accused of premeditated murder to receive a lowest-summary court martial,” she said.
Currently, no deadline has been set for the report or Cucolo’s decision.
Emanuel said it could take days, weeks or months.
“If you are thinking about putting someone in jail for life you want to make sure to take some time to consider all the facts,” Emanuel said.
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