KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Sgt. Juwan Johnson was beaten July 3, 2005, at a pavilion near Hohenecken by more than six individuals for six to eight minutes during an initiation into the Gangster Disciples, according to witness testimony Monday.

The testimony, which detailed for the first time where the fatal beating took place, came during a joint Article 32 hearing for Pvt. Terrence A. Norman and Sgt. Rodney H. Howell. Both soldiers have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, hazing, aggravated assault, conspiracy to violate Army policy on hazing and making a false official statement, stemming from the beating death of Johnson. Norman faces an additional charge of obstruction of justice.

Johnson, 25, of the 66th Transportation Company was found dead July 4, 2005, in his barracks room on Kleber Kaserne.

Criminal Investigation Command Special Agent Charles Sanchez testified Monday that Pfc. Latisha Ellis showed him and other investigators recently where the alleged “jumping in” ceremony for Johnson took place on July 3, 2005.

The beating took place at a grill hut pavilion area about 500 meters off the road toward Hohenecken, Sanchez testified. Hohenecken is near the Air Force’s Vogelweh installation and housing area.

Also on Monday, Howell’s squad leader at the time testified that he saw Howell, Norman and other soldiers leave Kleber on the evening of July 3, 2005. Staff Sgt. Scott Davis said he was checking on soldiers and performing a barracks check between 6 and 7 p.m. on July 3.

“(Howell) told me that he had to hurry up and leave because he had to go to a meeting,” said Davis, testifying over the phone from Iraq.

Sgt. Ronald Barnhart testified Monday that while he was deployed with the 66th Transportation Company in Iraq from January 2004 to February 2005, he walked in on a Gangster Disciples initiation ceremony. Barnhart said he saw Howell in a latrine being punched two to four times each by Norman (who was and remains a lower-ranking soldier to Howell) and another soldier. Barnhart thought it was horseplay at the time, he testified.

“Later, I found out it was actually a gang initiation,” said Barnhart, who was testifying via phone.

Capt. Joe Venghaus, the defense attorney for Howell, asked Barnhart how he knew it was an actual gang initiation. Barnhart replied that Pvt. Nick Pasquale, who did not witness the incident, told him that the beating in the latrine was a gang initiation.

“I don’t know how (Pasquale) knew,” Barnhart admitted when questioned by Venghaus.

The joint Article 32 hearing is scheduled to resume Tuesday.

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