Navy Orders Trial for Two in Hazing Death of Green Beret Logan Melgar

Tracy Connor
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/handout

A Navy SEAL and a Marine will be tried for the hazing death of Green Beret Logan Melgar, who was allegedly duct-taped and put in a chokehold by his military comrades in Mali two years ago.

The Navy announced Friday that Marine Raider Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez, 34, and Navy Special Operations Chief Tony DeDolph, 40, were referred to a court-martial on murder and other charges that could land them with life sentences.

An admiral made the decision after the evidence against the pair was laid out at a hearing in Norfolk, Virginia, last month, where two other military men who copped pleas took the stand against DeDolph and Madera-Rodriguez.

According to testimony by Marine Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell and Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews, Melgar ditched the rest of the team on the way to a party at the French embassy—and they decided to get revenge by hazing him.

In the dead of night, they used a sledgehammer to break into Melgar’s room and then rushed him. DeDolph allegedly applied a choke hold while Matthews and Maxwell duct-taped Melgar’s arms and legs. 

“The overall intent wasn’t to hurt him,” Matthews said.

How a Green Beret’s Hazing Led to Murder Charges for Elite Troops

Prosecutors alleged that the group also planned to have a local man molest Melgar, but the admiral declined to add sexual misconduct charges to the court-martial.

DeDolph’s attorney, Phil Stackhouse, has argued the evidence does not support murder charges.

“Clearly what happened is a horrible, tragic accident,” Stackhouse said. “Based on all the facts in this case, nobody went into that room to kill Staff Sgt. Melgar.”

Two Alleged Murderers of Green Beret Sgt. Logan Melgar Are Negotiating with Prosecutors

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!

Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.