Port Royal firetruck-theft suspect convicted of assault last April by court martial

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Port Royal firetruck-theft suspect convicted of assault last April by court martial

By PATRICK DONOHUE
pdonohue@beaufortgazette.com
Published Thursday, March 1, 2012   |  735 Words  |  

A Marine charged with murder after being accused of stealing a Port Royal firetruck and killing a pedestrian last week was booked Wednesday into the Beaufort County Detention Center.

Kalvin Hunt, 26, of Sumter was transported by the S.C. Highway Patrol from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston to the county jail at about 4:45 p.m., jail director Phil Foot said.

He remained jailed Wednesday night awaiting a bond hearing on a murder charge.

Navy officials also released information Wednesday indicating Hunt was convicted by court martial in April of assault, failure to obey an order and other violations of military law.

He was found guilty of violating five articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which governs military service members, according to James Cullen, spokesman for Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn.

Those violations included assaulting or disobeying a superior non-commissioned officer, failure to obey an order or regulation, communicating a threat, resisting arrest, and assault, Cullen said.

Hunt's sentence included a bad-conduct discharge, a reduction of rank and pay grade from corporal to private, and 175 days of confinement, according to Navy records.

Cullen said Hunt served his confinement but could not elaborate on the incident that led to the court martial because his case remains under appeal.

In August, Hunt was placed on appellate leave, which is the authorized absence of a Marine or sailor pending the appeal of a court-martial conviction.

Hunt worked as an F-18 jet mechanic, and his military career included stops in San Diego; Pensacola, Fla.; and Jacksonville, N.C., Cullen said.

He was never stationed in Beaufort, according to Navy records.

Hunt was charged by the S.C. Highway Patrol with murder Tuesday after allegedly stealing the firetruck Friday, running into six vehicles and killing 28-year-old Justin Miller of Port Royal as Miller walked with his brother along Ribaut Road.

Hunt had been recovering at MUSC from injuries sustained when he crashed the fire engine into a tree moments after hitting Miller, according to the Highway Patrol.

Hunt must appear in General Sessions court for a bond hearing on the murder charge, according to the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

A date for that hearing had not been set Wednesday night.

The Beaufort Police Department also plans to charge Hunt with one count of assault and battery and two counts of assault and battery on a police officer while resisting arrest. Hunt allegedly assaulted two officers and a paramedic who tried to free him from the wreckage, said Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy.

As of Wednesday afternoon, those warrants had not been served, Clancy said.

Port Royal police Capt. Alan Beach said he had no information to release Wednesday on what charges Hunt might face related to the theft of the firetruck, which was stolen while firefighters responded to a medical call at Laurel Hill apartments.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.


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