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Navy to Court-Martial Sailor Accused of Arson in 2020 Bonhomme Richard Fire - Hearing Officer Advised No Trial, Says Attorney

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A junior sailor will be tried at a general court-martial on charges that he intentionally started a fire that grew into a raging blaze in 2020 that burned the former USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) for days, the Navy announced Friday.

The U.S. 3rd Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Stephen Koehler, on Wednesday formally referred two charges – of arson and hazarding a vehicle – against Seaman Recruit Ryan Mays to a general court-martial “after careful review of the preliminary hearing report,” fleet spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson said in a statement. “Charges were brought in response to evidence found during the criminal investigation into the fire that started” on July 12, 2020, aboard Bonhomme Richard, which the Navy initially planned to repair but later decided to scrap from the inventory.

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