KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Three more soldiers have been charged in the 2005 beating death of Army Sgt. Juwan Johnson, bringing the total to five soldiers who face legal action in the alleged gang-initiation rite.

Pfc. Terrence A. Norman, 22, of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 29th Support Group, faces six charges: involuntary manslaughter, hazing, obstructing justice, aggravated assault, conspiracy to violate Army policy on hazing, and making a false official statement.

Sgt. Rodney H. Howell, 30, also of HHC, 29th Support Group, is confronted with five charges: involuntary manslaughter, hazing, aggravated assault, conspiracy to violate Army policy on hazing, and making a false official statement.

Staff Sgt. Alre L. Hudson, 41, of HHC, 21st Theater Support Command, faces four charges in relation to Johnson’s death: involuntary manslaughter, hazing, aggravated assault and conspiracy to violate Army policy on hazing.

The charges against Norman, Howell and Hudson were preferred against them between Feb. 14 and Feb. 20. Military officials could not explain the delay in announcing the charges publicly.

“As quickly as possible after the charges have been preferred, we have an obligation to release that information to the public,” Bruce Anderson, a U.S. Army Europe spokesman, said. “That process broke down.”

Johnson, 25, of the 66th Transportation Company, was beaten July 3, 2005, in an alleged gang initiation ceremony. He was found dead in his barracks room on Kleber Kaserne in Kaiserslautern the next day. Army investigators determined that Johnson died after being beaten during a “jumping in” — an initiation ceremony for the Gangster Disciples street gang. Eight servicemembers have been identified as suspects in Johnson’s death. The investigation is still ongoing, Anderson said.

Article 32 hearings for Howell and Norman are scheduled for late March, while Hudson’s Article 32 is set for early May. The three soldiers have not been placed in pretrial confinement, Anderson said.

Spc. Bobby Morrissette was the first soldier to be charged in Johnson’s death. Morrissette was initially charged with murder but later had the charge reduced to involuntary manslaughter. Murder carries a maximum punishment of life in prison without parole. The maximum punishment for involuntary manslaughter includes a dishonorable discharge and 10 years in prison. A court-martial for Morrissette is scheduled from April 30 to May 4.

Pfc. Latisha Ellis was the second soldier to be implicated in the case and has a murder charge against her. An Article 32 hearing for Ellis has been postponed, pending further investigation.

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