Air Force captain who was found dead after fleeing court-martial was to be dismissed
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 22, 2020
An Air Force officer found dead of an apparent suicide after fleeing a court-martial was to be dismissed from the service, Air Force officials said.
Capt. Kevin Larson was convicted by a jury at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada on charges of drug use, possession, and distribution, as well as assault, conduct unbecoming of an officer and making a false official statement, officials said.
Larson, a drone pilot at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., left court Friday prior to being sentenced and fled to California, where the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office joined the Air Force in its search for the fugitive officer after an arrest warrant was issued.
Larson was sentenced to dismissal from the Air Force, Creech spokeswoman 1st Lt. Scarlett Trujillo said in a statement.
A charge sheet for Larson’s case was not immediately available, she said.
Larson, 33, eluded capture Saturday after an attempted traffic stop in California. A day later, his body was found about 30 yards from his vehicle, which Air Force special agents had located on a secluded fire road in Redwood, Calif., the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
A single shot was heard as a drone surveyed the area where the vehicle was parked, the sheriff’s office said.
“I extend my deepest sympathies to Kevin’s friends and family as they come to terms with this loss,” Col. Stephen Jones, commander of the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, said in a statement Tuesday.
“His death was an unexpected tragedy. No matter what his situation or actions, he was a member of our Air Force family,” Jones said.
A native of Spokane, Wash., Larson was assigned to the 867th Attack Squadron, a unit of the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing.
He began flying the MQ-1 Predator in 2013 and later became qualified on the MQ-9 Reaper in 2015, Trujillo said.
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 206, is investigating Larson’s death, officials said.