SAN DIEGO, Calif.- Lance Corporal Jared Cardwell, the Yuma Marine accused of murdering his 22-month old step daughter appeared in a courtroom at MCAS Miramar Monday. During the arraignment the military judge convened the general court martial and Cardwell was formally charged. The marine is facing four charges, three for the murder and one for negligence for failing to seek medical attention.
1st Lt. Gabriel Adibe with MCAS Miramar says “Upon the recommendation of the preliminary hearing officer, the CG referred the previously preferred charges of Article 118 (unpremeditated murder) and Article 119 (involuntary manslaughter), as well as two additional charges of Article 118 (premeditated murder) and Article 118 (murder while committing an inherently dangerous act).”
His step daughter Celine Matus was found unresponsive on base on May 19th, Cardwell was arrested three day later.
Cardwell is back in court following an October 9th preliminary hearing in which the Preliminary Hearing Officer determined there was enough evidence to move the case forward to a court martial. During that trial it was determined Celine died of blunt force trauma to the head, the toddler also had chemical burns on her face.
Cardwell had the option to choose to be tried by a military judge or by court martial otherwise known as a military trial and chose to be court martialed. The arraignment judge set his trial date for September 2016. He has not entered a plea.