We saw the writing on the wall for this one: The Air Force is now identifying the airman who’s been held in pretrial confinement since shortly after the gruesome death scene of a fellow airman was found at an off-base apartment near Kadena AB. SSgt Nicholas Cron and TSgt Curtis Eccleston, the deceased, were in the same squadron there. Eccleston’s wife faces charges in Japanese court, and Cron’s commander preferred charges of conspiracy to commit murder, obstruction of justice, and premeditated murder against him today. This is at least the second case since 2002 in which a Kadena airman is charged with killing a fellow airman.

These charges follow the completion of another tragic case from the Air Force. Earlier this week, a general court-martial (officer panel) at Scott AFB convicted A1C Kevin Books of negligent homicide (but acquitted of involuntary manslaughter), DUI, reckless operation of a vehicle, and underage drinking. The convictions stemmed from a high-speed, alcohol-fueled crash that killed a fellow airman and injured 2 additional passengers. The panel sentenced Books to a bad-conduct discharge, 18 months in confinement, reduction to E-1, and total forfeitures of pay.

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