CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (KGTV) - The family of a deceased Navy corpsman is outraged after learning the sentence for another corpsman who was found guilty in connection to the death. A corpsman is a type of medic and sailor.
A trial on-base at Camp Pendleton ended this week with HM1 Ryan Dini being found guilty of dereliction of duty resulting in death for failing to prevent junior sailors from handling firearms, dereliction of duty for failing to enforce the weapons safety rules, and dereliction of duty for handing a firearm to a junior sailor who was under the influence of alcohol. Dini is the most senior ranking of five corpsmen who've been connected to the shooting death of fellow corpsmen Michael Vincent De Leon on Aug. 16, 2019.
De Leon’s father, JD, ran out of the courtroom to call ABC 10News. He was livid at the sentence which he said is far too light. “I am devastated. I am devastated at the outcome of this trial,” he added.
“It's like, what the hell is going on here? This is not justice. This is a joke,” he told us.
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The military confirmed that Dini was handed down a sentence of one hundred days of confinement and a reduction in rank from E-6 to E-5, which will result in a drop in his pay.
“There's no justice. They find him guilty of dereliction of duty causing death of our son but yet give him a hundred days. This is what's wrong with our military,” added JD.
The De Leon family said that their son captured Snapchat video before he was shot during a party with other corpsmen at a house on the Twentynine Palms base, located northeast of San Diego.
The prosecution has said that the corpsmen were drinking and dry-firing guns before a fatal round was fired.
The De Leon family alleged a cover-up after ABC 10News confirmed through sources with close military times that their son's death was being investigated as a homicide, not a suicide like they said that they were first led to believe.
Before Ryan Dini's guilty verdict this week, a second corpsmen, Mason Williams, was found guilty in June of dereliction of duty and disorderly conduct.
A third and fourth corpsman have been charged. A remaining fifth corpsman is facing charges but his hearing date has not been set.