Sailor charged with starting fire that destroyed USS Bonhomme Richard Navy Warship

The US Navy is planning to charge a sailor with starting the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard Navy Warship.

While docked on the shores of San Diego, the warship was destroyed by a four-day fire, beginning July 12, 2020. The sailor accused of arson and causing billions of dollars in damage remains anonymous. Commander Sean Robertson said, “Evidence collected during the investigation is sufficient to direct a preliminary hearing in accordance with due process under the military justice system.” 

A preliminary hearing has been ordered by Vice Admiral Steve Koehler, wherein an impartial hearing officer will order charges or clear the sailor based upon the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Crimes committed within the military are managed within the Military Court, potential consequences for minor offenses include confinement to base, substance abuse treatment, and disorderly conduct charges.

After the destruction of the warship last year, the Bonhomme Richard was decommissioned. “We did not come to this decision lightly,” said then-Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite in 2020. “Following an extensive material assessment in which various courses of action were considered and evaluated, we came to the conclusion that it is not fiscally responsible to restore her.”



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Antoinette is a community college student in Sacramento, California. She is a Politics Editor at Fact Based America, a correspondent for Campus Reform, and a student journalist. She previously worked for Turning Point USA as a High School Coordinator.

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