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Coast Guard officers will be court-martialed for fatal collision in San Diego Bay [Updated]

October 6, 2010 |  3:06 pm

Three Coast Guard petty officers will be court-martialed for a 2009 fatal collision in San Diego Bay, the Coast Guard announced Wednesday.

A fourth Coast Guard member will  face a nonjudicial punishment process.

The decision to hold a court-martial was made by Rear Adm. Joseph Castillo, commander of 11th Coast Guard District.

The collision of a 33-foot Coast Guard cutter and 24-foot civilian boat injured a half-dozen members of three families and killed Anthony DeWeese, 8, of Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood of San Diego.

Petty Officer Ian Howell is charged with negligent homicide, assault, negligently suffering a vessel to hazards and dereliction of duty.

Petty Officer Brittany Rasmussen is charged with negligent homicide, aggravated assault, negligence and dereliction of duty.

Petty Officer Paul Ramos, the boat coxswain, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, aggravated assault and dereliction of duty.

Howell and Rasmussen will get to what the military calls a special court-martial in which the maximum punishment is 12 months in the brig, forfeiture of two-thirds of pay for 12 months, reduction to the lowest pay grade and a bad conduct discharge.

Ramos will face a general court-martial discharge in which the court may impose any sentence authorized.

The fourth crew member, Petty Officer Lavelle Teague, faces a possible maximum 30 days in the brig, reduction in rank and restriction to base during the nonjudicial traditional punishment process.

[Corrected at 2:46 p.m.: A previous version mistakenly said Ramos faced a general discharge, instead of court-martial, and that Teague faces a nontraditional punishment process, instead of nonjudicial.]
The collision occurred during the annual Parade of Lights just before Christmas.

-- Tony Perry