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Marines Face Manslaughter Charges

A Marine general Friday ordered trials on manslaughter charges for two of the four crewmen in a jet that cut an Italian ski gondola cable and killed 20 people.

Lt. Gen. Peter Pace announced his decision to proceed against Captain Richard Ashby and Captain Joseph Schweitzer. He said they should be tried for involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide and other charges.

A military judge who investigated the incident had recommended the courts-martial for the two.

Pace, commander of Marine Corps Forces, Atlantic, determined there was sufficient evidence for a general court-martial for Ashby, the pilot of the EA-6B Prowler anti-radar jet, and Schweitzer, the navigator.

Pace dismissed charges against two electronic countermeasures officers, Capts. Chandler P. Seagraves and William L. Raney II. Both sat in the rear cockpit of the jet and evidence during a hearing showed they had no control over the plane and very limited visibility.