Article 32 hearing on airman's slaying in Iceland focuses on timeline
May 10, 2006
NAVAL AIR STATION KEFLAVIK, Iceland — The man accused of killing a 20-year-old acquaintance at Naval Air Station Keflavik in August to keep her from testifying against him appeared in court for the first time here Tuesday.
Airman Calvin Eugene Hill, 20, of the 56th Rescue Squadron appeared before investigating officer Col. Mark Allred in an Article 32 for the slaying of Airman 1st Class Ashley Turner, along with several lesser charges.
Hill has been in custody since Aug. 14, when Turner was found beaten and stabbed to death in a dorm building where they both lived at the air station. He is charged with murder with premeditation.
By Tuesday afternoon, the prosecution was still calling witnesses.
The hearing, which is the military equivalent of a grand jury proceeding, marked the first appearance by Hill’s girlfriend, Vannee Youbanphot, a Thailand-born woman who now resides in Iceland.
Both the prosecution and defense prodded Youbanphot repeatedly about the timing of Hill’s movements on the night of Aug. 14, though she had trouble remembering exact times and often relied on an Icelandic translator to answer questions.
Youbanphot said she and Hill were together during all but two brief periods the night of the murder, once when he left for 10 to 15 minutes and returned to the room sweating, and another when he left to put clothes in the washing machine.
In an attempt to narrow the time frame, both sides also asked Youbanphot to refer to scenes from the movie “Top Gun,” which was on TV during the time she said Hill left the room, sometime around 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Youbanphot was able to identify the scene at which Hill left, and the one during which he returned.
Hill and Turner were co-workers until he was implicated in a string of unauthorized withdrawals using her bank card. She was waiting to testify against him when she was found slain. She was pronounced dead just before 11 p.m.
Asked about Hill’s disposition that night, Youbanphot said he acted normal and did not appear to have any blood on him. She also gave often-hesitant testimony about where she had placed a knife he used earlier to make dinner, and what he was wearing at different stages of the evening.
A Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigator brought to light new elements in the case. He said he heard Turner’s boyfriend had asked a friend to lie about his whereabouts around the time of the slaying.
Turner had a fight with her boyfriend not long before the slaying, the investigator said.
Hill has also been charged with obstructing justice for impeding his own larceny trial by killing Turner to keep her from testifying.