CID investigating post-trial death in S. Korea
June 7, 2009
Court-martial security procedures are being reviewed after a soldier was found fatally shot outside U.S. Forces Korea headquarters at Yongsan Garrison last month, Army officials said. He had just been sentenced in connection with an improper relationship he had with a superior.
The body of Cuauhtemoc "Temo" Gonzalez Jr. was found May 22 with a gunshot wound in a grassy area on the east side of the USFK building. He was pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital.
CID officials declined to comment on reports that Gonzalez shot himself. They said only that his death remains under investigation, according to 8th Army Lt. Col. Jeff Buczkowski.
Gonzalez, of the 19th Adjutant General Company, said in court in April that he planned to plead guilty in a summary court-martial related to a prohibited relationship he had with a higher-ranking soldier last year.
Michelle Morales, who was married, was reprimanded and her rank reduced from master sergeant to sergeant first class after being found guilty of having a relationship with Gonzalez.
Several witnesses said Morales helped a private who knew of the romantic relationship get command sponsorship, even though he had been flagged for being overweight and failing his physical fitness test. She also allegedly put a barracks on lockdown so she could go to an entertainment district in Seoul one night with Gonzalez and two other couples, according to court testimony.
Gonzalez was to be court-martialed on charges of adultery and participating in an inappropriate relationship. In exchange for testifying at Morales’ trial, he was going to be tried in a summary court-martial. That meant that he would not be given a bad-conduct discharge, and could only be reduced one rank.
On May 22, Gonzalez’s rank was reduced to E-4, he was directed to forfeit two-thirds of one month’s pay and he was to be restricted for 60 days, according to Buczkowski.
CID officials declined to comment when asked how Gonzalez may have obtained a gun or if there were witnesses to the shooting, Buczkowski said.
According to his death notice in the Modesto (Calif.) Bee, Gonzalez was born in Patterson, Calif., the third of four children. He is survived by his parents, siblings and a daughter.
Gonzalez had been in the Army for eight years, and had done two tours in Iraq, the notice said.