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.


Previous Story

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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  • by ET Location: Havelock on Apr 7, 2011 at 06:03 AM
    Talk about being thrown under the bus. Everything but the kitchen sink. A fine man who made a big mistake. He who hasn't, throw the first stone.
  • by gabba Location: meoude on Mar 23, 2011 at 08:52 PM
    Am I the only one who thinks its funny that Newport police caught him?
    • reply
      by Mummers on Apr 28, 2011 at 04:09 PM in reply to gabba
      WELL I HOPE HE SPILLS OUT ALL THE SECRETS ABOUT THE OTHERS ,WHEN THIS GOOD MAN NEED YOUR SUPPORT YOU WERE NOT FOUND. HE IS STILL A HERO NO MATTER WHAT MAYBE NOT FOR D.A.D.T. BUT THE OTHER GOOD THINGS HE HAS DONE
  • by sniper Location: JAX on Mar 23, 2011 at 07:14 PM
    Ok, did you read the entire article? Not only did he get a DUI, he came in and drove a gov vehicle when he has a driver; went and flew a multo-million dollar aircraft all day as well as an inappropriate relationship with his secretary and was warned to stop it and he continued. IS this not arrogance and difiance? He felt above the law and she wanted to get what she could get out a man of power. I guess the dame gets away with contributing to the end of his life and career and marriage. Let's not forget he is marriend and has kids. What about them? An enlisted man would be put under the brig for these actions and he continued to drive on Cherry Point and Camp Lejuence after all this and the leadership did nothing until he obtained another ticket in VA while driving with a revoked license. How do you feel sorry for a man that continues the radical behavior and he is supposed to be leading our young, very imprssionable Marines. USMC, please bring back the pride!
    • reply
      by here on Mar 29, 2011 at 09:56 AM in reply to sniper
      I agree. He really,really messed up!
    • reply
      by Mummers on Apr 28, 2011 at 04:16 PM in reply to sniper
      SNIPER SOUNDS TO ME YOUR JUST JEALOUS TO ME , WE HAVE ALL HERD STORY OF OTHER'S ON THESE BASES . MAYBE A LITTLE SHORT FOR MY BOOK , AND IF YOUR REALLY A USMC I DONT THINK YOU WANT THE CRACK DOWN, WHY DONT YOU RANT ABOUT PROTEST GOING ON LIKE D.A.D.T. AND NOT PICK ON A HERO WITH SOME PROBLEMS HE CAN USE HELP TO OVERCOME
  • by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2011 at 06:07 AM
    whats so wrong with being god friends with somebody? i didnt know that was illegal too.?
  • by Former Military Officer on Mar 22, 2011 at 07:25 PM
    Yes, he must be held to higher standards. He was a leader. Now, his career is probably over. He threw away a great career over a few drinks of liquor. Pitiful.
  • by Moose Location: ENC on Mar 22, 2011 at 04:55 PM
    I was really in his corner before learning of his duties directly after being arrested for DWI blowing over .10. Do I understand correctly that he flew an F/A 18 the morning after with a Rear Seat Officer in tow? Is that a correct assessment after being up all night following a DWI arrest, booking procedure, etc?
    • reply
      by Phrogs on Mar 22, 2011 at 11:54 PM in reply to Moose
      To Moose: I am with you. I was also in his corner until I found out he was flying an F/A 18 the next morning. Not only did he risk the life of his officer, he put every life in his flight path at risk!
  • by MSgt USMC (Ret) on Mar 22, 2011 at 11:46 AM
    @ Walt: If you are innocent, you don't accept non-judicial punishment under the UCMJ. If you are guilty, the punishments allowed at non-judicial punishment are much lighter than those 'awarded' at a courts martial! Innocent people demand a courts martial, where the 'rules of evidence' apply!
  • by Bob Location: Newport on Mar 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM
    Not only Col Denn, but to everyone. There should be zero tolerance for operating a vehicle while under the influnce. No exceptions. Let's get the drunks off the road and under control.Those of uu who obey the law should not have to worry about having our safty threatened by a DRUNK , who shows no concern for his fellow man. Throw the book at him and all who drive imparied.
    • reply
      by Jimmy on Mar 22, 2011 at 02:21 PM in reply to Bob
      Amen, DWI should be on the same level as Attempted Murder!
    • reply
      by Mummers on Apr 28, 2011 at 04:21 PM in reply to Bob
      YES BOB IS RIGHT BUT ALSO GET HIM HELP ALSO EVERYONE HELP OUT D.A.D.T. LOL BUT THIS IS NOT A FUNNY MATTER .PEOPLE DO 85 ALL DAY LONG ON 70 FROM CHERRY TO LEJEUNE IMPARIED OR NOT BUT THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT AND NOT SAFE
  • by Walt Location: Washington on Mar 22, 2011 at 10:39 AM
    The Uniform Code of Justice is great. If you are innonce you receive a light sentence. If found guilty, they hang you.
  • by Former Marine Location: Cherry Point on Mar 22, 2011 at 06:17 AM
    Col. Denn, executed Nonjudicial Punishment on numerous Marines throughout his career for the offense of DWI or DUI. He, routinely, ordered other Marines to not drink and drive, and he was fully aware of all laws and orders he was breaking when he did this. He is guilty. The only credit he is due is for pleading guilty and expediting the process. He didn't try to fight it like most criminals. This does beg the question though, where was he coming from and where was he going? Are other charges by the Marine Corps in order?
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