By J. Elise Van Pool, Fort Stewart Public AffairsApril 23, 2009
FORT STEWART, Ga. -- An investigative Article 32 hearing for Sgt. Joseph Bozicevich, a 3rd Infantry Division Soldier, charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Staff Sgt. Darris Dawson and Sergeant Wesley Durbin while serving in Iraq began April 20, at Fort Stewart.
The government called a total of 37 witnesses over the course of three days to testify under oath to the events surrounding the deaths of Dawson and Durbin. The witnesses included U.S. Army and Iraqi Soldiers in addition to one Iraqi interpreter. All were serving in Iraq at the time of the incident.
An Article 32 pretrial hearing is comparable to a civilian preliminary hearing or grand jury. During the hearing a military investigating officer hears evidence so as to make findings and recommendations concerning charges against the accused.
Following the Article 32 hearing, the investigating officer will submit his findings to Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, the 3rd ID commanding general. The IO's report will include details of the testimony and whether he or she believes there is enough evidence to convene a general court martial.
The accused will also be served with a copy of the investigative report. Within five days of receipt, the accused may submit objections or comments regarding the report to Maj. Gen. Cucolo for consideration.
Major General Cucolo will then decide whether the charges initiated against the accused will be tried by a court-martial.