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Airman to face court martial in murder case

Date Posted: 2011-11-25

The Air Force has decided to bring a Kadena airman to a court martial, charging him with the murder of a fellow airman last February 6th.

Staff Sergeant Nicholas Cron of the 733rd Air Mobility Squadron at Kadena Air Base has been charged with a variety of offenses in the stabbing death of Tech. Sgt. Curtis Eccleston. The 18th Wing at Kadena has not set a court martial date for Cron. Specific charges Cron will face at the court martial are premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction of justice.

The 27-year-old Cron was taken into custody by military authorities on February 13th, and has been held at the Camp Hansen brig in pretrial confinement. The Air Force had been investigating the case for month, and ruled it a capital case, which the 18th Wing explains means the military judge or court martial panel “could consider all potential punishments authorized under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including a death sentence, life with or without eligibility for parole and other punishments.”

Eccleston was found stabbed to death, laying in a pool of blood at his apartment in the Mihama district of Chatan, not far from Camp Lester. An autopsy on the 30-year-old victim by Japanese authorities ruled that Eccleston bled to death from a cut on his neck.

Japanese police have arrested Eccleston’s wife, a Brazilian national citizen, and charged her on a murder warrant. The 32-year-old wife, Keiko Eccleston, was immediately charged in February, only 10 days after her husband’s body was found. At that time, Japanese polic said she had conspired with another person to murder her husband.

Cron had met with Japanese police regarding the case. Authorities say Cron provided the details that led to a backpack and two knives believed to be connected to the murder. Police say the backpack and knives were recovered from a river south of Naha City.

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