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Soldier convicted of negligently killing West Point cadet in vehicle rollover incident

A 3rd Infantry Division soldier was convicted this weekend of negligent homicide and sentenced to three years of confinement in relation to the vehicle rollover that killed a West Point cadet and injured 21 others last summer.

Staff Sgt. Ladonies P. Strong was convicted following a general court-martial at Fort Stewart, Georgia, on Sunday by a military panel composed of eight officers and enlisted troops, according to Army officials.

Strong was convicted of one charge of negligent homicide and one charge of preventing the authorized seizure of property. In addition to the three years of confinement, she was also sentenced to a reduction in rank to private, E-1, and a bad-conduct discharge.

The case arose out of the rollover of an M1085 cargo truck on June 6, 2019, near the Camp Natural Bridge training site at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. The vehicle rollover killed 22-year-old Cadet Christopher J. Morgan, a member of West Point’s Class of 2020.

Morgan died at the scene of the accident from injuries he sustained during the rollover. Two soldiers and 19 other cadets were also injured in the accident.

Strong was acquitted of one charge of involuntary manslaughter, one charge of reckless operation of a vehicle and two charges of dereliction of duty.

Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson declined to provide the charge sheets for Strong, stating that Army Times would have to file a Freedom of Information Act request for those records as they are considered trial documents.

Strong, who was not made available for comment, can still appeal the conviction, Larson added.

Morgan, the cadet who died, was from West Orange, New Jersey. He was majoring in Law and Legal Studies and was a recruited athlete on the Army Wrestling Team.

He was laid to rest at West Point’s cemetery on June 15, 2019. Local media reported that former president Bill Clinton spoke at the memorial service. Morgan’s father had been part of Clinton’s security detail.

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