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Sixteen witnesses are on the list to testify in the Article 32 hearing of a U.S. Naval Forces Marianas-based sailor charged with murder.

The pretrial hearing of Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony D. Shepherd, 27, began at 6 a.m. Wednesday and was expected to continue at least through Thursday, said Chief Petty Officer Jonathan Annis, deputy public affairs officer.

Shepherd was charged Sept. 29 with murder under Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 118.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service officers arrested Shepherd on Sept. 22, a day after his baby died in the Naval Hospital intensive care unit. The baby was pronounced dead at 9:55 p.m. Sept. 21, officials said previously. They have declined to release the baby’s name and cause of death.

Annis declined to release the names of the 16 people on the list of potential witnesses for the hearing. He also declined to release the names of prosecuting and defense counsels, saying: “The attorneys have been instructed not to speak with the media.”

Wednesday’s hearing in the Guam base’s Building 1A courtroom involved witness interviews, he said. During the proceedings, prosecuting and defense attorneys present evidence to an an investigating officer for review.

The investigating officer then will recommend whether to go forward with a criminal case. The recommendation will be made to Capt. Robert A. McNaught, U.S. Naval Forces Support Activities Marianas commanding officer.

If tried and convicted, Shepherd could face life in prison or the death penalty. He is in custody at Guam’s U.S. Naval Forces Support Activity Detention Center.

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