SPANGDAHLEM, Germany -- The Air Force is expected to file preliminary charges Friday including murder against a Spangdahlem airman for the death of his 8-month-old son in October.

Airman 1st Class Horace Wickware will face an Article 32 hearing Friday, according to Maj. Jillian Torango, a spokeswoman for Spangdahlem Air Base. The hearing is similar to a civilian grand jury; it could lead to a court-martial if there is sufficient evidence against Wickware.

The preliminary charges he faces are murder, manslaughter, negligence and assault, Torango said.

The airmen’s wife, Jennifer Wickware, is facing three charges in German court stemming from her failure to adequately protect her son, said Jürgen Brauer, a German prosecutor in Trier. Her trial began Thursday and will continue March 11. She has been in German custody since early September, when the baby was first taken to a local German hospital close to the air base. Cordale Wickware died Oct. 30 at a hospital in Trier.

Brauer said the infant suffered broken legs days if not weeks before he incurred severe head trauma. He said Jennifer Wickware is being prosecuted for neglecting to safeguard the health and safety of her child.

If convicted, she faces a sentence ranging from six months to 10 years in a German prison.

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