Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fellow Marine charged in ’06 death of Gordon County native

A corporal faces court-martial in the death of a deployed Gordon Marine reportedly shot in the neck.

From the Calhoun Times

Lance Cpl. Kristopher Cody Warren died Nov. 9, 2006.

The Marine Corps is calling the 2006 death of Calhoun native Cody Warren negligence and has charged another Marine in his death.

Lance Cpl. Kristopher Cody Warren, 19, was killed Nov. 9, 2006, while his Marine Reserve detachment was deployed in Iraq. Click here to read a previous report: "Gordon mourning Marine.

At the time, Warren’s death was listed as “non-combat-related,” but the Marines now have charged Cpl. Douglas Michael Sullivan, who was assigned to a military police unit at Camp Pendleton, Calif., with culpable negligence, authorities said.

Lance Cpl. Blake Knowles, who served with Warren in Chattanooga-based Mike Battery, said Sullivan shot Warren in the back of the neck while Warren was working radio duty in a combat operations center, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

“From day one as a Marine we are taught never to point a weapon at anything you don’t intend to shoot,” Knowles told the Chattanooga newspaper. “Every rule, he broke.”

Sullivan faces a general court-martial at Camp Pendleton next month.

An official with Naval Criminal Investigative Services confirmed NCIS is conducting an ongoing investigation into the death and said the agency cannot comment.

Warren was a 2005 graduate of Gordon Central High School, sang in the school’s chorus and was drum major of the Blue Wave Marching Band during his junior and senior years.

Kim Watters, who directed Warren in the GCHS chorale, said military officials told Warren’s family very little at the time of his death.

“I spent a good bit of time with his family at the time, and they knew nothing about the circumstances of his death,” Watters told the Calhoun Times on Saturday. “The military told them an investigation was being conducted but that it would be at least nine months before it was completed.

“That’s not going to bring Cody back,” Watters said when told the Marines plan to court-martial Sullivan. “There’s just not a good answer here.”

Warren, who performed with the GCHS Chorale, had “a strong tenor voice,” Watters said when news of his death reached Calhoun. Watters described Warren as an ideal student who pulled the best out of the people around him.

Watters said Warren’s family was working with Gordon Central officials to establish a scholarship in his memory to support a student who excels in band and chorus.

Warren was proud to be a Marine and of his service in Iraq, Neal Crawford, GCHS band director, said at the time of his death.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press contributed to this report.

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