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story.lead_photo.caption In this June 3, 2014, image provided by the U.S. Navy, Navy Capt. John R. Nettleton, then-commanding officer of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, speaks during a Battle of Midway commemoration ceremony. Nettleton was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2018, on charges that he interfered with the investigation into the death of a civilian with whom he fought after an argument over whether the officer had had an affair with the man's wife. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jacob Goff/U.S. Navy via AP)

Navy officer faces obstruction charge

WASHINGTON -- A former commander of the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay was arrested Wednesday on charges that he interfered with the investigation into the death of a civilian with whom he fought after an argument over whether the officer had had an affair with the man's wife.

Navy Capt. John Nettleton remains on active duty, but he was removed from command shortly after civilian Christopher Tur was found floating in January 2015 in the waters off the base on the southeastern coast of Cuba.

Nettleton was accused in a federal indictment of obstruction of justice and concealing material facts, including that he and Tur had brawled at a base nightclub after Tur accused the commander of the affair.

Nettleton denied to his superior officer and others that he had the affair, but investigators later determined that it had happened, according to an indictment issued in Jacksonville, Fla., where Nettleton has been on temporary duty.

Nettleton was commander of the base since June 2012, but not the detention center where terrorist suspects are held.

An autopsy found that Tur, 42, died from drowning but that he had broken ribs suffered before he went into the water and a cut on his head. The investigation also turned up blood from Tur inside the entryway of Nettleton's residence on the base and from a paper towel in the backyard.

On the night of his disappearance, Tur confronted the commander and Tur's wife in front of witnesses at a party at the on-base nightclub. Each had "consumed several alcoholic drinks," according to the indictment.

Tur later that night went to Nettleton's residence, where the two men fought. Nettleton's daughter heard the commotion and saw her father on the ground and Tur standing over Nettleton holding a telephone shortly before he left and wasn't seen again.

2 women accused of transgender assault

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Police in North Carolina say two women sexually assaulted a transgender woman at a Raleigh bar.

News outlets report Amber Harrell, 38, and Jessica Fowler, 31, are charged with second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery.

The woman told Raleigh police she was inside the bar's bathroom in December when Harrell and Fowler started verbally abusing her, exposed themselves and started touching her.

The woman said Harrell and Fowler continued to assault her outside the bathroom and ignored her and the bartender's orders to stop.

Radio station WRAL reported Harrell was arrested over the weekend and Fowler surrendered to authorities Tuesday. The two women were released on bail.

After birth, patient's rape investigated

PHOENIX -- An Arizona woman in a vegetative state who was sexually assaulted at a long-term care facility and gave birth is recovering at a hospital along with her child, authorities said Wednesday.

Commenting for the first time on the investigation since the Dec. 29 birth came to light, Phoenix police said finding a suspect is a top priority. Police are gathering DNA from all male employees at the facility.

Hacienda HealthCare owns the care facility and said it welcomed the DNA testing. Authorities served a search warrant Tuesday.

News website first reported that the woman, in a vegetative state for more than 10 years after a near-drowning, had given birth.

A lawyer for the woman's family said they were angered at the "neglect of their daughter." It's unclear if staff members at the facility were aware of her pregnancy until the birth. "The family would like me to convey that the baby boy has been born into a loving family and will be well cared for," Phoenix attorney John Micheaels said in a statement.

Officials with the San Carlos Apache tribe of southeastern Arizona said they were "deeply shocked and horrified at the treatment of one of our members," a 29-year-old woman.

Denver aims to toss low-level pot cases

DENVER -- Denver on Wednesday became the latest city in the nation to take steps to eliminate low-level marijuana convictions in places where the drug is now legal, acknowledging the barriers that such offenses pose to minority-group members, low-income residents and other people.

Denver officials said Colorado law doesn't allow them to go as far as some other cities and states in automatically dismissing or pardoning convictions.

Instead, they unveiled a program allowing thousands of people to avoid costly legal action by filling out an online form or attending an event to start the process with help from city officials. The Denver district attorney or city attorney will then seek court approval for the convictions to be eliminated and follow up with state agencies to make sure records used by employers, landlords and others during background checks have been updated.

Seattle, San Francisco and some prosecutors in New York City last year rolled out programs to toss hundreds of marijuana convictions, saying now-legal activity should no longer block people from getting jobs or finding housing.

A Section on 01/10/2019

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