WASHINGTON – The top U.S. military officer said Monday the nation’s military leadership is embarrassed by allegations of misconduct against at least 10 U.S. military members at a Colombia hotel on the eve of President Barack Obama’s visit over the weekend.
“We let the boss down,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference. He said he regretted that the scandal, which also involved 11 Secret Service agents accused of cavorting with prostitutes at the hotel, diverted attention from Obama’s diplomacy at a Latin America summit.
Pentagon officials said earlier Monday that the number of military members involved in the scandal appears to be greater than the five originally cited. One senior defense official said that at least 10 military members may have been involved.
Pentagon press secretary George Little said that military members who are being investigated were assigned to support the Secret Service in preparation for Obama’s official visit to Cartagena. He said they were not directly involved in presidential security.
Boy tells school mom, sister dead
LAS VEGAS – A 9-year-old boy arrived at school Monday with a grisly story: His mother and sister were dead at their home four blocks away.
Minutes later, police found the bodies of a 10-year-old girl and her mother – along with a blood-covered father and an unharmed 4-year-old boy – in a modest home in a West Las Vegas neighborhood, authorities said.
The five people belonged to a single family, police Officer Jacinto Rivera said.
The man, who was hospitalized with a head injury, was not immediately identified as a suspect or charged.
Rivera said there was no immediate evidence of a break-in at the home or that a suspect was on the loose.
Zimmerman asks for new judge
SANFORD, Fla. – The neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing an unarmed black teenager in Florida asked a judge in the case to step down Monday after she revealed a potential conflict of interest.
George Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, filed the request and said Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler revealed the potential conflict last week.
Zimmerman was charged last week with second-degree murder in Trayvon Martin’s Feb. 26 death. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, saying it was self-defense.
Recksiedler’s potential conflict involves her husband, who works with attorney Mark NeJame. Zimmerman’s family first approached NeJame about representing Zimmerman. He declined and referred them to O’Mara.