5th sailor charged in Houston Navy corpsman's death

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Sunday, October 17, 2021
5th sailor charged in Houston Navy corpsman's death
HM3 Michael Vincent De Leon was shot to death more than two years ago. Now, five corpsman face charges related to what happened.

CAMP PENDLETON, California (KTRK) -- The case of a 2019 shooting death of a Navy corpsman with ties to Houston continues to evolve with a fifth sailor who's been charged in connection with what happened.

HM2 Edmond Maebane was charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and obstruction of justice by giving false information to a 911 operator, according to KGTV in San Diego.

HM3 Michael Vincent De Leon, 30, was shot to death in Aug. 2019 while attending a going-away party at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base in California. Maebane and four other sailors have now been charged in connection with the death and an alleged cover-up over what happened.

"It's been a cover-up. Right now, I'm not going to backtrack it. This has been a cover-up," De Leon's father, Jose, told KGTV just after Tuesday's hearing where charges against Maebane were read.

Prosecutors allege the corpsmen were drinking and dry-firing guns before the fatal round was fired, striking De Leon in the head.

The corpsmen are accused of concealing the truth about what happened, claiming De Leon's death was by suicide.

Speaking with ABC13, Jose De Leon recalled the 911 call that was played aloud in court.

"And we got to hear Edmonds voice, and he's calling in, and he's saying that Michael killed himself. 'He offed himself. I cant believe he got bullets from here and he put them into my gun.' I mean he goes into detail," Jose said.

HM1 Ryan Dini was sentenced to 100 days in military prison and a reduction in rank in connection with De Leon's killing.

HM2 Mason Williams was found guilty of dereliction of duty and disorderly conduct, dropping his rank from E-4 to E-1 with a pay reduction.

Two other corpsmen, Sterling Wold and Jesse Humes were also charged, but their identities and statuses were not made public, KGTV reported.

Michael Vincent De Leon graduated from Bellaire High School in 2008 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 26 years old, according to his obituary. He trained to become a Navy Hospital Corpsman at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio before he was assigned to Naval Hospital Twentynine Palms in California.

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