Decision could come soon on military status of alleged firetruck thief

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PORT ROYAL

Decision could come soon on military status of alleged firetruck thief

By PATRICK DONOHUE
pdonohue@beaufortgazette.com
Published Wednesday, August 1, 2012   |  441 Words  |  

A Sumter Marine accused of killing a pedestrian with a stolen Port Royal firetruck in February might soon learn if the Marine Corps will uphold his bad-conduct discharge.

The Corps still is considering an appeal filed last year by attorneys for Pvt. Kalvin Hunt after the 26-year-old was convicted in April 2011 of assault and other charges during a court-martial.

A ruling on that appeal could be made "within a matter of weeks," according to Capt. Jordan Cochran, spokesman for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

Hunt was found guilty of violating five articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including assaulting or disobeying a superior noncommissioned officer, failure to obey an order or regulation, communicating a threat, resisting arrest, and assault, according to a spokesman for Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn.

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

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

He was placed on appellate leave in August 2011, which is the authorized absence of a Marine or sailor pending the appeal of a court-martial conviction. Hunt still had that status in February when he allegedly escaped from Naval Hospital Beaufort, stripped off his clothing and stole a Port Royal firetruck left idling at a nearby apartment complex.

According to a lawsuit filed last year, Hunt was taken to the hospital after telling a counselor that he wanted to hurt himself and others earlier that day.

Hunt is accused of striking six vehicles and killing a pedestrian before crashing the firetruck into a wooded area off Ribaut Road, according to authorities.

Hunt was charged with murder in connection with the death of the pedestrian and with 10 other offenses related to the crashes and the theft of the firetruck.

Hunt was transferred last month from the Beaufort County Detention Center to a psychiatric hospital in Columbia, his attorney, Corey Fleming, said during a hearing in March.

Related content

  1. Motorist struck by stolen firetruck sues Beaufort, Port Royal, May 26, 2012
  2. Port Royal firetruck-theft suspect convicted of assault last April by court martial, March 1, 2012