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UPDATE: Former Cherry Point Commander Awaits Possible Court Martial

The article 32 hearing for Colonel Douglas Denn wrapped up Monday, and now the former marine commander awaits a possible court martial.

The recommendation from the investigating officer on whether to court martial Denn is due in one week, according to the New Bern Sun Journal.

Denn was relieved of his duty after his DWI arrest last October.



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Marine prosecutors want to bring even more charges against the former Cherry Point commander who was relieved of command after his DWI arrest.

An article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury, is underway today at the air station. Unlike a civilian grand jury, those hearings are open to the public.

The prosecution has brought up five additional charges they want the colonel to face. One is for reckless endangerment by assuming duty on flight. Prosecutors say Denn, who is a F/A-18 pilot, failed to acknowledge any human factors that impacted his flight the morning after his drunk driving arrest. Another possible charge is for making a false statement to his co-pilot that he had adequate rest the night before.

Prosecutors say they also want to charge the former commander with having a wrongful relationship with a civilian employee after being advised the appearance was not good for the workplace. Attorneys say there was no sexual relationship, just that Denn and the woman were too good of friends for the office.

Right now Denn is charged with failure to obey order or regulation, drunken or reckless operation of a vehicle, aircraft or vessel, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman and a general article for courts martial

The investigating officer will hear evidence against Denn and will then make his recommendation to the command.

On Monday Denn pleaded guilty in Carteret County court for the DWI charge.


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The former commander at Cherry Point has pleaded guilty to drunk driving charges.

Col. Douglas Denn made the plea today before a Carteret County judge. Denn was arrested in October by Newport police and was subsequently relieved of his command by the Marine Corps because of the arrest.

The 47-year-old Denn, who pleaded guilty to all charges, was given a suspended sentence, three years of unsupervised probation, ordered to pay court costs, a $100 fine and loses his driver's license for a year.

Denn was charged with driving while impaired, speeding and possession of an open container/consumption of alcohol in passenger area. Records showed his blood alcohol content was .14%.

Tomorrow the Marine will face a military court, where it will be decided whether military charges against the colonel will go to a court martial.


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