January 19, 2014
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Navy jury has demoted a diver in connection with the training deaths of two sailors in Maryland.
Senior Chief Petty Officer James Burger is one of five Navy divers who had faced court-martial for alleged dereliction of duty in the deaths. The others accepted non-judicial punishment.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the Navy jury in Norfolk convicted Burger of negligent dereliction of duty on Friday. On Saturday, the jury reduced Burger one rank to chief petty officer.
The charges stemmed from the deaths of Navy Diver 1st Class James Reyher and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris. Reyher and Harris drowned on Feb. 26, 2013, after they were sent to the bottom of the Super Pond underwater weapons-testing facility at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
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