JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A former commander of the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay now stationed at NAS Jacksonville has been charged with obstructing justice and nine other offenses related to the 2015 death of a civilian who worked at the Cuban base.
Navy Capt. John Nettleton also has been charged with concealing material facts related to Christopher Tur's death. Tur, 42, was found dead in the waters off the base on Jan. 10, a day after he had been reported missing by his wife Lara, also a civilian employee at the base.
A federal indictment said Nettleton, 53, hid the fact that he was having an affair with Lara Tur and that the men had a fight the night of Tur's disappearance. Nettleton was relieved of his command at the Cuban base after Tur’s body was found.
The medical examiner determined that Tur drowned, but also found a head laceration and fractured ribs, injuries consistent with him being in a fight.
Nettleton commanded the Navy base but not the detention center where accused terrorists are held.
Since Nettleton was relieved of his duties by Rear Admiral Mary Jackson, who cited “loss of confidence in command,” he has been on administrative duty at NAS Jacksonville. When the indictment was unsealed Wednesday, Nettleton turned himself in to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which transported him to federal court.
In addition to two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of concealing material facts, Nettleton is charged with five counts of making false statements and two counts of falsifying records.
If convicted of all counts, Nettleton could face up to 10 years in prison and a $2.5million fine.
At a hearing Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors did not seek detention of Nettleton, but the judge ordered him to surrender his passport, not leave Florida and have no contact with government witnesses or anyone referenced in the indictment.
A trial is tentatively scheduled for May 6.
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