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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Senior Air Force member charged in death of teen

    Chief Master Sgt. Hector Soler, Security Forces Manager at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, turned himself in to Goldsboro police Thursday evening on charges of felony death by motor vehicle.
    Soler walked out of the Wayne County Magistrate's Office 40 minutes later free on a $75,000 secured bond.
    Charges against Soler were upgraded Thursday afternoon from felony serious injury by motor vehicle after Johny Robert Watson, the 17-year-old Soler struck with his vehicle while allegedly driving drunk Saturday night, succumbed to his injuries.
    Watson died shortly after his family had him taken off of life support at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where the teen had lingered for almost a week following emergency surgery and being put into a medically induced coma.
    According to a GoFundMe page set up for the teen after the crash, Watson's family allowed the hospital to remove his organs to be donated before doctors disconnected the machines keeping their son alive.
    The hospital will be flying a white flag for the next 48 hours signifying the organ donation ---- a tradition marking such occassions ---- honoring Watson's gift of life and his memory.
    Soler, 47, is also charged with driving while impaired and failure to reduce speed.
    He arrived quietly at the magistrate's office at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, a time previously agreed upon with law enforcement, wearing an all gray sweat suit with the hood up over his head. Soler was accompanied by his attorney, Dustin B. Pittman.
    Pittman, an attorney with Strickland, Agner & Associates, declined at the magistrate's office to provide his phone number so he could be contacted later for comment.
    Soler's charges stem from a two vehicle wreck that took place on South George Street near Carver Boulevard at around 11:30 p.m. Saturday.
    According to the accident report, Soler crashed into the back of Watson's Jeep going 70 mph. His blood alcohol content at the time of the wreck was .16 -- more than twice the legal limit -- according to an accident report.
    Soler sent Watson's Jeep flying 159 feet into a utility pole at the intersection of South George Street and Carver Boulevard, the report said.
    Soler told police Watson's car was parked in the roadway with no headlights on when he struck the car, but Goldsboro Police Chief Mike West said that is not the case.
    "His lights were on, and he was going between 20 and 25 mph, possibly slowing down for the railroad tracks," West said.
    According to the report, Soler's speedometer was stuck at 70 mph after the crash.
    Watson was initially taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital with severe head injuries and then flown to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.
    Soler was arrested after the crash, taken to the Wayne County Jail and given a $20,000 secured bond for an initial charge of felony serious injury by motor vehicle. He was also given a $2,000 unsecured bond for the charges of DWI and failure to reduce speed, according to arrest reports.
    Capt. Leann Rabun with the Goldsboro Police Department said the charge of felony death by motor vehicle with replace the original charge of felony serious injury by motor vehicle.
    West said Soler paid his bond immediately after being booked in the jail in the twilight hours of Sunday morning.
    Soler is the Security Forces Manager for the 4th Security Forces Squadron at SJAFB.

    http://www.newsargus.com/news/archiv...ampaign=buffer
    Tragic all around...

    Seen commenters on other sites speculating over whether or not the Chief gets to keep his stripes and retire, etc.

    That will be the least of his concerns as I'm guessing he's looking at 10+ years in prison....rightfully so. And no, he won't get to keep his stripes or retire. Assuming he's convicted.

    Condolences to the family...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    Tragic all around...

    Seen commenters on other sites speculating over whether or not the Chief gets to keep his stripes and retire, etc.

    That will be the least of his concerns as I'm guessing he's looking at 10+ years in prison....rightfully so. And no, he won't get to keep his stripes or retire. Assuming he's convicted.

    Condolences to the family...
    Incredibly sad. Can you imagine being a subordinate of this Chief though? Especially one that has been punished for DUI. Thanks for the lecture, Chief!

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeRandomGuy View Post
    Incredibly sad. Can you imagine being a subordinate of this Chief though? Especially one that has been punished for DUI. Thanks for the lecture, Chief!
    I'm sure there is a feeling of this guy getting his comeuppance from some...since he's a SF Chief and prior First Shirt....we can only imagine he's been in that position.

    There's a lot of stuff we could throw at the wall here...but mostly I just feel sad about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    Tragic all around...

    Seen commenters on other sites speculating over whether or not the Chief gets to keep his stripes and retire, etc.

    That will be the least of his concerns as I'm guessing he's looking at 10+ years in prison....rightfully so. And no, he won't get to keep his stripes or retire. Assuming he's convicted.

    Condolences to the family...
    At this point, his concern over his retirement should be because he is hoping to take care of his family while he is in prison.

    He will likely still 'retire' ... probably not as an E-9, but if he is over 20 (legally qualified as retirement eligible) and the military does not conclude that his offense / misconduct was on duty he has a strong case to retain his retirement benefits.

    It is a sad situation for all concerned.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    I been thinking about this case a lot...and how all the lives of those impacted have changed dramatically in that instant.

    Says he was 0.16...I know that's twice the legal limit...but, does anyone know how drunk someone is at 0.16? Are the trashed or got a good buzz? Visibly drunk to observers?

    Rumor on that FB site is that he was at a Christmas Party at his commander's house and the commander has been fire...unconfirmed.
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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    I been thinking about this case a lot...and how all the lives of those impacted have changed dramatically in that instant.

    Says he was 0.16...I know that's twice the legal limit...but, does anyone know how drunk someone is at 0.16? Are the trashed or got a good buzz? Visibly drunk to observers?

    Rumor on that FB site is that he was at a Christmas Party at his commander's house and the commander has been fire...unconfirmed.
    Well .08 is supposed to be somewhere around 2 drinks an hour for the avg size person. so around 4 drinks an hour. Depending how long they were there, wouldn't be unusual and it may not have been that noticeable for a party.

    The fact that he hit him going 70 in a 25 leads me to believe that he never saw him.

    Now, could've been looking at the phone or maybe he was telling the truth (that jeep's the lights actually were off). Either way. He's toast.
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 12-20-2016 at 05:32 PM.

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    Rumor on that FB site is that he was at a Christmas Party at his commander's house and the commander has been fire...unconfirmed.
    Appears to be confirmed now...commander reassigned pending investigation

    The squadron commander of the 4th Security Forces Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina has been reassigned after the squadron's security forces manager was charged in a fatal drunk driving accident.

    Maj. Gilbert Wyche has been temporarily reassigned to his wing's mission support group, Tech. Sgt. Phillip Butterfield, a spokesman for the 4th Fighter Wing, said in an email Tuesday.

    Chief Master Sgt. Hector Soler, the squadron's security forces manager, allegedly drove drunk on Dec. 10 and hit 17-year-old Johny Robert Watson, who died five days later. An accident report states that Soler crashed into the back of Watson's Jeep at 70 mph around 11:30 p.m. Dec. 10, launching the Jeep 159 feet into a utility pole, according to a report by the Goldsboro News-Argus. Soler has been charged with felony death by motor vehicle, failure to reduce speed​ and driving while impaired with a blood alcohol content of .16.

    "Due to the proximity of Maj. Wyche's and Chief Master Sgt. Soler's positions, Maj. Wyche has been temporarily reassigned outside of the 4th Security Forces Squadron and into the 4th Mission Support Group until a thorough review of all the information connected to the incident is complete," Butterfield said in a Wednesday email, after being asked whether the reassignment was related to Soler's arrest. "Pending review of the evidence found in this investigation, a determination of his duty position will be made."

    https://www.airforcetimes.com/articl...der-reassigned
    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 12-22-2016 at 09:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    I been thinking about this case a lot...and how all the lives of those impacted have changed dramatically in that instant.

    Says he was 0.16...I know that's twice the legal limit...but, does anyone know how drunk someone is at 0.16? Are the trashed or got a good buzz? Visibly drunk to observers?

    Rumor on that FB site is that he was at a Christmas Party at his commander's house and the commander has been fire...unconfirmed.
    In 1992 I was stopped and blew a .104. The limit was .10 back then and luckily I got it reduced to reckless driving. I remember thinking though that right at the legal limit like that I wasn't buzzed, I wasn't feeling social, I was flipping drunk , unquestionably too drunk to drive a car. So I imagine .16 is probably close your eyes and feel your brain spinning around.

    Thankfully those days of foolish decisions are well behind me, but I was very fortunate I never got into the kind of trouble this guy is in.
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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Commander's temporary reassignment became permanent Dec 29...surely an indicator that he had some knowledge/involvement that evening...rumors are the Chief was at a party at the CC's house.

    The squadron commander who had been reassigned after the unit's security forces manager was charged in a fatal drunk driving accident has been relieved from command, the 4th Fighter Wing announced in a statement.

    Maj. Gilbert Wyche was relieved from command of the 4th Security Forces Squadron on Thursday by Col. Christopher Sage, commander of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

    "After a thorough review of information regarding the events of Dec. 10, 2016, Sage lost confidence in Wyche's ability to effectively command the 4th Security Forces Squadron," the statement said. "Wyche will remain temporarily reassigned to the 4th Mission Support Group until he is transferred to another base."
    In general, I don't think hosts are civilly liable for this kind of stuff...but there are situations where he could be...I think, if he pushed vs. provided alcohol or had direct knowledge of the chief's intoxication...not sure. I know a bar that sells/serves alcohol has more of a duty to stop serving and more liability than a casual host does...but, there might be possibility that the commander gets personally sued...also if this were a somewhat official sq function, I wonder about liability for the AF?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    Commander's temporary reassignment became permanent Dec 29...surely an indicator that he had some knowledge/involvement that evening...rumors are the Chief was at a party at the CC's house.



    In general, I don't think hosts are civilly liable for this kind of stuff...but there are situations where he could be...I think, if he pushed vs. provided alcohol or had direct knowledge of the chief's intoxication...not sure. I know a bar that sells/serves alcohol has more of a duty to stop serving and more liability than a casual host does...but, there might be possibility that the commander gets personally sued...also if this were a somewhat official sq function, I wonder about liability for the AF?
    I suspect before all is said and done some court will be deciding all of those factors.

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