Guilty plea in USS McCain collision court-martial

May 25, 2018

The Navy says the officer in command of the USS John S. McCain when it collided with an oil tanker in August 2017, killing 10 sailors, has pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty

WASHINGTON — The Navy says the officer in command of the USS John S. McCain when it collided with an oil tanker near Singapore in August 2017, killing 10 sailors, has pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty.

Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez entered his plea during court-martial proceedings Friday at Washington's Navy Yard.

Sanchez was sentenced to a punitive letter of reprimand and forfeiture of $2,000 a month in pay for three months. As part of a plea agreement, he will submit a request to retire, the Navy says.

At a separate court-martial Thursday, boatswain's mate Chief Petty Officer Jeffery D. Butler pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty. He was sentenced to a reduction in rank. Butler's role aboard the McCain was certifying sailors on the destroyer's navigation system.