Lieutenant Lance Leone is a U.S. Coast Guard aviator, and the sole survivor of a 2010 helicopter crash that killed three people from Air Station Sitka. He was facing charges of negligent homicide and destruction of government property.
According to Leone’s attorney, John Smith, Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo decided not to send the charges on to court martial.
Smith says while it’s the end of the charges, it’s the beginning of a new chapter for Leone.
“Probably one of the most difficult things he’s going to have to do is to be able to do that thing that he loves to do again,” Smith said. “It’s been quite a while since he’s flown or piloted an aircraft, and I’m hoping that he is going to be able to go to retraining soon, pass that retraining, and look forward to a new assignment in the Coast Guard, flying and rescuing people in accordance with the Coast Guard mission.”
Smith said Ostebo’s decision, and the outcome of the charges against his client, serve as encouragement for the members of all military branches that the military’s system of justice works.
Smith says Leone is ecstatic about dismissal of the charges. He talked more about the case in this interview with KTOO on Tuesday afternoon.
- A National Weather Service meteorologist says warm ocean temperatures and less sea ice suggest this year's winter could be close to normal.
- Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has ordered that Native communities and their traditional ecological knowledge be considered in future federal land management decisions.
- The first marijuana shop in the state has its license to open and it's in Skagway. The Remedy Shoppe must now wait for the state to give the green light to marijuana testing facilities before its shelves are stocked.
- Sen. Dan Sullivan said he is trying to make Congress aware of more than 30 villages that still don't have running water or sewers.