Navy helicopter pilot Thomas Jaskel survived, but his brain was badly, and permanently, damaged.
Richard Freeman was the sailor behind the wheel. He survived the crash and was acquitted in Norfolk court. His lawyer convinced the jury that it wasn`t intoxication that caused the crash, but rather, the passengers were rowdy and one hit Freeman in the head. After the not-guilty verdict, Lauren`s father exploded.
But now the Navy is taking up the battle. More than three years after the crash on Granby Street, Freeman is facing a court martial on the same charges, for driving drunk and for killing and hurting his passengers. The families of the victims are hoping this time, a military jury will do what a Norfolk jury did not.
You might wonder how someone acquitted of a crime can then be prosecuted again for the same crime. The not-guilty verdict was in a state court, and this prosecution is in a military court. That’s not considered double jeopardy. The court martial is scheduled for as long as nine days.