Two soldiers arraigned in beating death tied to gang initiation
Stars and Stripes June 7, 2007
European edition, Thursday, June 7, 2007
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Two soldiers were arraigned Wednesday in the gang-initiation beating death of Army Sgt. Juwan Johnson.
Sgt. Rodney H. Howell and Pfc. Terrence A. Norman appeared in court at Kleber Kaserne in Kaiserslautern but did not enter a plea.
Howell is charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, failure to obey an order or regulation, conspiracy and making a false official statement. His trial is scheduled for July 23 at Taylor Barracks in Mannheim.
Norman is charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, failure to obey an order or regulation, obstruction of justice, making a false official statement and conspiracy. His trial is set for July 16 at Kleber.
Norman and Howell are each accused of punching Johnson 20 or more times during a July 3, 2005, gang initiation ceremony. Johnson, 25, of the 66th Transportation Company, died the next day of multiple blunt force injuries.
Norman and Howell are among five soldiers who have faced charges in the death. Some of the past developments in the case include:
n Last week, a military judge removed the lawyers prosecuting Spc. Bobby Morrissette for his role in the death. He was facing various charges, including involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. Those charges were dismissed, but prosecutors had requested a new hearing to reconsider.
n On May 7, Army Staff Sgt. Alre L. Hudson faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, hazing, aggravated assault and conspiracy in connection with the death at an Article 32 hearing.
n On March 27, Pfc. Latisha Ellis admitted to giving a false official statement at a summary court-martial as part of a deal. She saw the beating and is a key witness in the case. She remains the only soldier convicted of a crime in connection with the death.