Aviano stabbing suspect will stay in military custody pending charges

Dormitories at Aviano Air Base, Italy. A U.S. airman is in custody after reportedly stabbing a fellow servicemember in a base dormitory early Tuesday morning, Italian media reported. Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes


By KENT HARRIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 20, 2017

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — An airman suspected of stabbing a fellow servicemember in her dorm room will remain in military custody until it’s determined if he’ll face a court-martial, officials said Thursday.

Airman Cameron Ashley Owens has not been charged in the incident, which happened early on April 11. He was apprehended by Italian authorities after reportedly being identified on video surveillance footage and later turned over to the Air Force after Italy granted the United States jurisdiction in the case.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Thompson, commander of the 31st Communications Squadron and the pretrial confinement review officer, decided on Thursday that Owens should remain in military custody at an Air Force facility in Sembach, Germany.

At a hearing on Wednesday, a pair of Office of Special Investigation agents were the only witnesses to testify. One said he identified Owens in reviewing video footage outside the female airman’s dormitory. Another said she discovered a knife that appeared to have blood on it during a search of Owens’ dorm room.

Owens, a 19-year-old assigned to the 31st Operation Support Squadron, attended the hearing. He declined to make any statements, but he told the judge he understood the purpose of the hearing as well as its workings.

Though Owens has not been charged and authorities say the investigation is ongoing, four possible charges were read at the hearing: attempted murder, attempted unlawful entry, aggravated assault and burglary.

The lead prosecutor, Capt. Laura Wiley, argued for keeping Owens in confinement, saying that he may or may not be a flight risk, but the “seemingly random” nature of the crime made him unpredictable.

“Restriction to base, restriction to dorms ... certainly not applicable here,” Wiley said.