U.S. military officials confirmed Saturday that Brett D. Shadle, 31, a special warfare operator chief, died Thursday when he and another SEAL collided in midair during a parachute training exercise over southern Arizona.
Shadle was taken to University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, where he was pronounced dead. The other SEAL — an unidentified petty officer first class — was in stable condition Saturday at the Tucson hospital.
Military officials said the accident was under investigation. Shadle and a fellow SEAL were practicing “routine military free-fall training” when the accident occurred Thursday, said U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Kenneth McGraw.
Relatives said Shadle, of Elizabethville, Pa., was stationed in Virginia. He was married and had a daughter, 4, and a son, 2.
Navy officials said Shadle had earned multiple Bronze Star medals with Valor and several service ribbons. While details about his deployments as a member of famed SEAL Team 6 were secret, officials confirmed he had served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ordered flags lowered to half-staff until sundown Saturday.
— Associated Press
Two Washington fifth-graders will stand trial in juvenile court on a murder conspiracy charge, a county judge ruled Friday.
Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen says the boys, 10 and 11, had a handwritten list of seven steps in a plan to kill a female classmate. The judge deemed the boys competent to stand trial. They pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, witness tampering and juvenile possession of a firearm.
The boys were arrested Feb. 7 at Fort Colville Elementary School in Colville, Wash., after a fourth-grader saw one holding a knife on a school bus and told a school employee. A backpack search also turned up a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol and ammunition, authorities said.
The Spokesman Review reported the boys are being held on $100,000 bond each.
— Associated Press
An energy trade group has asked New York’s lobbying board to investigate whether a group formed by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon is violating the state lobbying law.
The complaint filed to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics by the Independent Oil & Gas Association was based on an Associated Press report that found that Artists Against Fracking and its advocates didn’t register as lobbyists. A spokesman for Artists Against Fracking said the group’s activities are protected because they occurred during a public comment period.
— Associated Press
Calif. man charged with killing filmmaker: Michael Vilkin, 61, of the San Diego area, was charged with murder Thursday in the shooting death of a documentary filmmaker known for his work to help Romanian orphans, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said. The body of John Upton, 56, was found Thursday outside his home in the Vista community. Vilkin reportedly owns a vacant lot next to Upton’s home. In an interview with station KGTV, Vilkin said he shot Upton in self-defense after the filmmaker, angry that Vilkin was trimming trees on his property, pulled a gun. Vilkin was arrested hours later and is set for arraignment Tuesday. Upton won an Emmy Award in 1990 for a special on teenage promiscuity. After seeing a TV report about Romanian orphans that year, he publicized the orphans’ plight and helped bring about two dozen of the children to the United States for medical care and adoption. Pa. man saves stranger who fell on tracks: Christopher Knafelc is being hailed as a hero after he leapt onto tracks at a Philadelphia train station Thursday morning to help a man who had fallen off the platform. Knafelc, 32, called on people on the platforms to get the trains stopped and held the man’s head and neck stable until firefighters arrived. Train traffic was halted. Investigators do not know what caused the man to fall on the tracks. He was taken to a hospital and was listed in stable condition. Of the rescue, Knafelc said that he was just doing the “right thing.”
— From news services