Military court will handle attempted murder case on Guam
July 2, 2006
The attempted murder charge against an 18-year-old U.S. Navy airman has been dismissed from Guam’s local court system and is to be handled in military court, according to a U.S. Naval Forces Marianas spokesman.
Jonathan Allen Cherry was indicted June 16 by a Guam grand jury on a charge of attempted murder and possession and use of a deadly weapon. He was accused of stabbing another sailor, Thomas Eugene Lawton, at a hotel in Tumon on June 6, according to the magistrate’s complaint filed in Guam Superior Court.
Those charges were dismissed from the Superior Court of Guam on Wednesday.
Cherry now is being held by military officials in a confinement center at Andersen Air Force Base, though no charges had been filed as of Friday afternoon, according to Lt. Donnell Evans, spokesman for Naval Forces Marianas. Charges would come after an Article 32 hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, Evans said.
Both sailors are members of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25.
According to the magistrate’s complaint, Cherry sought out Lawton about 7 p.m. on June 6 because he believed Lawton was trying to “pick up on a woman Cherry considered his girlfriend.”
A witness saw the two men scuffle and afterward saw cuts on Cherry’s hands.
Police found Lawton around 7:50 p.m., weak from blood loss and needing a respirator, according to court papers. When asked who stabbed him, Lawton told the police it was Cherry, according to the court papers.
Lawton was treated at Guam Medical Hospital and U.S. Naval Hospital, Guam, and has been released.