New developments in the brutal killing of Seaman August Provost III, the black gay sailor found murdered at Camp Pendleton near San Diego on June 30th. Three weeks after the Navy seaman was found shot to death and his body burned, the Navy still has not decided if the case is "serious enough" to go before the military equivalent of a grand jury.
Navy Region Southwest spokesman Matt Brown tells KPBS-TV "there’s no time limit" on the investigation which remains under the authority of Provost's former commander—not the Pentagon.
“The commander of Assault Craft Unit Five (ACU 5) will determine, based on the information provided by investigators, if this is a case that perhaps should be considered by a higher level review, such as a general court martial,” says Brown.
A suspect is being held in the brig on Camp Pendleton. Brown says under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he can be held indefinitely, as long as investigators can show a military judge they are aggressively pursuing the case.
The 29-year-old Provost's body was discovered in a guard shack on the morning of June 30, shot three times, apparently gagged and bound, and his body burned. The seaman told his family he was harassed and ostracized at Pendleton for at least a year because he was gay and black. The Navy says the torture, shooting and burning was not related to the victim's sexuality and was a "random act" of violence. Over the weekend, the late sailor's aunt advanced a new theory, that her nephew’s killer is gay and feared being outed by Provost.
If there is "no time limit" on the investigation and the "person of interest" can be held without charges "indefinitely", will we ever learn who killed August Provost and why? And if the shooting, torture and burning of a United States Seaman is not "serious enough" for a general court martial, what is?
Thanks REP. JACKSON LEE's OFFICE!