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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — A U.S. soldier was on duty when the vehicle he was driving struck and killed a South Korean woman in Dongducheon city on June 10, U.S. military officials told South Korean prosecutors Wednesday.

U.S. Forces Korea officials provided the “official duty certificate” in response to a query from the Uijongbu city prosecutor, according to a USFK statement issued Wednesday evening. The certificate gives U.S. authorities “the primary right to exercise criminal jurisdiction” in the case, according to the statement.

Under the U.S.-South Korean status of forces agreement, the U.S. military adjudicates when U.S. servicemembers are accused of crimes committed while they were on duty.

According to the USFK statement, South Korean prosecutors have “21 days to request a waiver of the USFK right of jurisdiction” in the case involving 19-year-old Pfc. Jeff Bryant.

South Korean police said they forwarded charges of “duty-related accidental homicide” to the Uijongbu city prosecutor’s office more than a week ago.

USFK officials are not compelled to prosecute because “each case is evaluated and addressed individually,” according to the statement.

The police said the 51-year-old victim, Kim Myung-ja, jaywalked across Peace Street while Bryant sat at a traffic light in a 2.5-ton Army vehicle. Bryant’s passenger, 28-year-old Pfc. Cassandra Daryliell, spotted Kim as she crossed the street, police have told Stripes, but Bryant apparently failed to hear Daryliell’s warnings.


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