Navy Officer Found Not Guilty in Drowning

November 8, 2010

A military jury in Norfolk has found a Navy officer not guilty in the death of a sailor aboard the USS San Antonio.

The jury at the court-martial on Friday found Lt. Cmdr. Sean Kearns not guilty of negligence in the death of Petty Officer 1st Class Theophilus Ansong.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Kearns was second-in-command of the ship when Ansong died on Feb. 4, 2009.

The San Antonio was in the Gulf of Aden when Ansong and two other sailors fell into the water while an inflatable vessel was being lowered from the ship. Two sailors were rescued but Ansong's body was never found.

Prosecutors contended that Kearns didn't ensure effective training or supervision of small boat operations on the day Ansong died. The defense said the San Antonio was an unfinished and flawed ship.

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