Two-and-a-half months after their military jet severed a gondola cable at an Italian ski resort and sent 20 people plunging to their deaths, four Marine fliers go before the military equivalent of a grand jury.
The Article 32 hearing is to determine if there is evidence to support criminal charges of negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter against the four crewmen. They also are charged with dereliction of duty, damage to military property and damage to private property.The hearing officer was to focus on administrative issues Monday afternoon and no evidence was to be presented yet. If there is not enough evidence to support the charges, some or all could be dropped.
The gondola - packed with skiers at an Italian resort - crashed into the slopes after the EA-6B Prowler jet based in Aviano, Italy, sliced its cable Feb. 3 in one of the deadliest training incidents since the end of the Cold War.