Soldier charged in crash that killed West Point cadet has preliminary hearing

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Christopher C. Morgan touches the casket of his son, West Point Cadet Christopher J. Morgan, during the interment ceremony at West Point, N.Y., Saturday, June 15, 2019. (Mark Vergari/The Journal News via AP)

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) – An Army soldier charged in a vehicle rollover that killed a West Point cadet is keeping quiet while commanders weigh whether to send her case to a court-martial.

Staff Sgt. Ladonies Strong declined to make a statement in her defense Wednesday during a preliminary hearing at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The Army has charged Strong with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes in the June 6 crash that killed Christopher Morgan of West Orange, New Jersey, while training at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Prosecutors and Strong’s defense attorney called no witnesses during the Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury.

That means the hearing officer, Maj. Dennis Hernon, will rely on investigative records to make his recommendation on whether Strong should stand trial.

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