JACKSONVILLE, Fla .– A former commander of the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday for obstructing an investigation into the death of a civilian the commander fought and fought with argued over his affair with the man’s wife. .
Jacksonville federal judge sentenced Captain (N) John R. Nettleton, the media reported. He was convicted in January of obstructing justice, concealing important facts, falsifying records and making false statements.
Nettleton, 54, was removed from his post shortly after civilian Christopher Tur was found floating in the waters off the base on Cuba’s southeast coast in January 2015. Nettleton had commanded the base since June 2012, but not the detention center where suspected terrorists are held. .
Nettleton has not been charged with Tur’s death.
Nettleton denied to his senior officer and others that he had an affair, but investigators later determined it had happened, according to federal prosecutors in Jacksonville, where Nettleton had been on temporary duty. Tur’s wife confirmed the case during her testimony, authorities said.
Defense attorneys argued that Nettleton could not be convicted of any of the charges simply for violating the provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice or for violating Navy regulations.
An autopsy revealed that Tur, 42, had died of drowning but his ribs were fractured before entering the water and that he had a cut to his head. Authorities said the investigation also revealed blood from Tur inside the entrance to Nettleton’s residence on the base and on a paper towel in the backyard.
Tur arrived at Guantanamo in May 2011 with his wife Lara and two children and worked as a security and casualty prevention officer at the Navy Exchange, the base’s main shopping complex.
On the night of his disappearance, Tur confronted the commander and Tur’s wife in front of witnesses at a party at the base nightclub. Each man had “consumed several alcoholic drinks”, according to the indictment.
Later that night, Tur went to Nettleton’s residence, where the two men fought. Nettleton’s daughter heard the commotion and went downstairs to see her father on the ground and Tur standing over him shortly before he left the area and was not seen again, according to the documents.
Around this time, a friend of Tur said he got a call from Tur, who told him he was at Nettleton’s and that he had “just knocked the skipper out”, according to the documents.
After Tur disappeared, Nettleton did not tell people looking for him that he was last seen at Nettleton’s house when they fought, and instead the commander made them believe he was seen. for the last time in the nightclub, according to prosecutors.