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MMA fighter turned SEAL Team Six member charged with murdering Green Beret in Mali

Petty Officer Anthony DeDolph is accused of strangling Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar to death in 2017.

U.S. Navy Seals Prepare For Night Mission In Fallajah
FILE PHOTO - U.S. Navy SEALs operating in Fallujah, Iraq, 2007.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Last week the US Navy charged two US Navy SEALs and a two elite US Marine ‘Raiders’ with murdering Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, 34, in Bamako, Mali on June 4th, 2017. The Daily Beast were first to report these charges.

Navy Times named the charged individuals as Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez (USMC), Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell (USMC), Chief Petty Officer Adam Matthews (USN), and Petty Officer Anthony DeDolph (USN). They all face charges of felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, hazing and burglary.

Matthews and DeDolph are members of SEAL Team Six, a task force that includes just under 2,000 individuals and is famed for carrying out the successful mission to assassinate Osama bin Laden in 2011. DeDolph is a former professional mixed martial artist who fought with the Extreme Challenge, Shooto, and HOOKnSHOOT promotions.

Melgar was in Mali with the 3rd Special Forces Group and served as part of a six-man intelligence team tasked with supporting Malian and French counterterrorism operations against al-Qaeda offshoot al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

A charge sheet produced by Navy Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) claimed that the accused drove to one of the Marines’ quarters in Bamako to obtain duct tape and then the group drove to a shared Army/Navy headquarters. Once there, the accused allegedly broke down the door to Melgar’s quarters. Inside, it is alleged, Melgar was placed in a chokehold by DeDolph and then pulled back onto a bed, where Matthews then climbed on top of him. NCIS believe Melgar died from a crushed throat as a result of these actions.

The Daily Beast reported that Melgar’s murder was due to an ongoing disagreement between Melgar and DeDolph regarding DeDolph’s professionalism. A source told that outlet that Melgar was upset with ‘lapses in operational security’ that came about through DeDolph and Matthews allegedly soliciting prostitutes and bringing them back to a military safe house in Bamako. The Daily Beast also alleged that Melgar had discovered the SEALs were skimming cash from a fund used to recruit local informants.

The Daily Beast stated that Melgar had reported the SEALs’ violations up the chain of command and that this enraged the SEALs and the Marines who were also charged. Witnesses reported that the accused also felt slightly by Melgar because he allegedly refused to give them a ride to a party. Witnesses also reported that the accused made statements that they wanted to ‘get back’ at Melgar.

A source told The Daily Beast that when DeDolph realized Melgar wasn’t breathing he and Matthews tried to resuscitate him. First they tried CPR and then they opened a hole in his throat. Investigators have claimed that DeDolph performed the tracheotomy to hide telltale marks of strangulation. It is reported that the SEALs then took Melgar to a French medical facility, where he was pronounced dead. DeDolph is reported to have confessed to choking Melgar at the clinic, but claimed it was accidental, the result of trying to teach Melgar a hand-to-hand combat move.

Several witnesses have claimed that the accused engaged in a cover-up that included cleaning up evidence and coaching witnesses on a false version of events. The accused also submitted an operational report that stated Melgar was drunk at the time of his death. However, Melgar was known not to drink alcohol and a toxicology report showed no alcohol or drugs in his system.

According to Navy Times DeDolph and Matthews were flown back to the US shortly after Melgar’s killing. They are currently on administrative hold at Dam Neck, Virginia; their unit’s headquarters. Madera-Rodriguez and Maxwell are still on duty, at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

DeDolph, Matthews, Madera-Rodriguez and Maxwell, are all considered innocent until proven guilty.