Coast Guard aviator’s attorney talks about the dismissal of charges, defense in case

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.

Recent headlines

  • Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Photo by Jennifer Canfield/KTOO)Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Photo by Jennifer Canfield/KTOO)

    Bartlett hospital reaches agreement with union

    The Juneau Assembly will be asked next week to approve $3.06 million in pay increases for employees at Bartlett Regional Hospital. That's after the city-owned hospital's board of directors approved a tentative agreement with its unionized workforce after more than a year of negotiations that ended with the help of federal mediators.
  • CREDIT JAYDE FERGUSON

    Asian tapeworm found in Alaskan salmon of Kenai Peninsula coast

    Scientists recently announced they had found an Asian tapeworm species in pink salmon caught off the coast of the Kenai Peninsula. In a recent study, a team of scientists identified a Japanese broad tapeworm larva in pink salmon caught in Resurrection Creek near Hope. The study appears in the February issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
  • Overdue snowmachiner succumbed to hypothermia, state troopers believe

    An overdue snowmachiner, who was traveling to Fairbanks from Shungnak, by way of Huslia, has been found dead near Selawik Hot Springs. Travis Loughridge, 27, left Shungnak about noon Saturday and was expected to arrive in Fairbanks by Monday evening.
  • Juneau city hall welcome sign - CBJ website

    Juneau’s legislators talks fiscal crisis with Assembly

    Juneau's state legislative delegation told a half-dozen members of the Juneau Assembly on Thursday morning that the state's budget outlook isn't rosy. Democratic Sen. Dennis Egan said there are real risks to middle-class public sector jobs under threat by budget cuts.
X