Preliminary hearing held for accused in March stabbing death of airman in Guam
By WYATT OLSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 25, 2018
A Barksdale Air Force Base colonel is reviewing preliminary evidence to determine whether Airman 1st Class Isaiah Edwards should stand trial in the March stabbing death of a fellow airman in Guam.
Edwards is in custody at Barksdale, and has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of Airman 1st Class Bradley Hale on March 26 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
The airmen were assigned to Barksdale in Louisiana, and were deployed to Guam.
Both Hale and Edwards were assigned to the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 2nd Bomb Wing, as electronic warfare journeymen.
Hale, a native of Montgomery, Texas, had been in the Air Force about two years.
Col. Ty Neuman, the commander of 2nd Bomb Wing, directed that a preliminary hearing, also called an Article 32 hearing, be held for the charge of murder in Hale’s death.
The hearing was held May 11, and Neuman is currently reviewing the preliminary hearing officer’s report to determine the next step in the trial process, the Air Force said. Edwards is considered innocent unless proven guilty during court martial beyond reasonable doubt, the Air Force said.
An Article 32 hearing, so named for its citation in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, is conducted to determine whether probable cause exists to proceed to a court martial.
No timeline in adjudication of this case was available, the Air Force said.
The 20-year-old Hale had been found unresponsive at a temporary lodging facility at Andersen and declared dead March 27 at about 3 a.m., the Air Force said.
Edwards was arrested after a knife was found at the scene.
Dr. Aurelio Espinola, chief medical examiner in Guam, said there were three fatal wounds to Hale’s neck along with numerous superficial cuts.
The 2nd Bomb Wing includes B-52H Stratofortress multirole bombers, which are capable of delivering conventional and nuclear weapons. The bombers have been routinely deployed to Guam in recent years – along with B-1 conventional and B-2 stealth bombers – as tensions with North Korea have increased.