Army officer charged with punishing a soldier to death
April 14, 1997
From CNN Military Affairs Producer Chris Plante
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A U.S. Army warrant officer accused of punishing a soldier to death by making him run on a blistering-hot day faces manslaughter and other charges, military sources said Monday.
Chief Warrant Officer Kyle Grogan, 31, is charged with involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, maltreatment of a subordinate and dereliction of duty in the March 4 death of Sgt. Edward Palacio, 27.
Palacio, an eight-year veteran, had been assigned as a flight operations specialist in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment in Panama.
Grogan, a 13-year veteran who was Palacio's superior, took Palacio on a long run in the intense heat of the midday Panama sun as punishment for a minor offense, the sources said.
Palacio collapsed from heat exhaustion after being made to run about five miles on a cement jogging path at Howard Force Air Base, they said. He later died of complications from heat stroke.
The conditions that day were said to be "black flag" -- too hot for physical training, much less physical punishment. Average temperatures in Panama this time of year are in the 90-degree range.
Army officers who spoke on the condition of anonymity told CNN they viewed the episode as "stupid" and "a waste."
A spokesman at the U.S. Army in Panama said the officer in charge of Palacio's company, Maj. Robert C. Guillot, has received a letter of reprimand for his role in the episode. No criminal charges have been filed against Guillot, but he has been relieved of his command pending possible further action.
Grogan has been suspended from his duties and reassigned to administrative duties on Albrook Air Force Station in Panama pending the outcome of the case against him.
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