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Posted: 4/6/2006 10:20:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 10:29:38 PM EDT

Judge throws out first-degree murder charge against Navy SEAL

Ronald Gasper. VIRGINIAN-PILOT FILE PHOTO


By JON FRANK, The Virginian-Pilot
© March 30, 2006 | Last updated 12:28 AM Mar. 31

VIRGINIA BEACH - Prosecutors called it a scuffle that should have ended peacefully.

However, on Thursday, Navy SEAL Ronald J. Gasper described his hand-to-hand combat with fellow commando Bradley Jondahl on July 31, 2004, as a struggle for survival that required him to pull out and fire a 9 mm handgun.

"I felt like it saved my life," Gasper, a member of Dam Neck's SEAL Team 6, told a crowded courtroom as he wiped away tears .

Gasper told his tale about escaping from Jondahl's choke hold and shooting to death a fellow SEAL during about 90 minutes of testimony in the fourth day of his murder trial.

The much-larger Jondahl, who stood 6 feet 2 inches and weighed about 230 pounds, was struck in the abdomen by a bullet . The 24-year-old from South Dakota died during surgery at a local hospital.


Background: Jurors get video tour of scene at SEAL's home


Before Gasper took the stand Thursday, Circuit Judge Stephen C. Mahan granted a defense motion that wiped out a first-degree murder charge lodged against the 31-year-old from Ohio. Mahan said there was no evidence of pre meditation.

Gasper now faces a maximum charge of second-degree murder and a maximum penalty of slightly more than 40 years in prison.

Defense attorneys say Gasper's good intentions to help Jondahl, a younger SEAL from a different team who had never met Gasper before that night , went awry when Jondahl went into a drunken rage and attacked Gasper.

Prosecutors say Gasper over reacted and inappropriately introduced a deadly weapon into a minor scuffle .

Gasper testified that he had recently returned to the Beach, the city many East Coast naval commandos call home, after a long Middle East deployment, where the food was bad and the living conditions much rougher than those offered by his comfortable ranch home on Hinsdale Street in the Bayside area of the city .

Gasper told jurors that in the last weeks of July 2004, he was on vacation leave from SEAL duties and had been spending time partying and visiting with friends at Shore Drive nightspots.

On the night of July 30, Gasper said, he met up with two other SEALs and their girlfriends. They first went to the Duck-In and later to the nearby Smokehouse & Cooler, Gasper said .

He left the group and went on his own to the Half Shell, another Shore Drive SEAL hangout, he said, then called a cab and ordered a drink before going into the parking lot .

It was there that he first saw Jondahl, as the young SEAL stumbled out of the Half Shell front door, Gasper said.

Although Gasper had never seen Jondahl before, he testified that when he saw him come through the bar doors he thought "he could have been a team guy."

When Jondahl got closer, Gasper said, "he definitely looked like a SEAL."

Jondahl identified himself, and Gasper sensed that the younger commando was drunk and in need of help to get home safely, he said.

Jondahl, whose blood-alcohol concentration later was estimated to be almost three times the legal limit for driving, ran across the street to another bar. Gasper said he followed and told Jondahl: "You want a cab. I got a cab."

Why would Gasper help a SEAL he didn't know? defense attorney James O. Broccoletti asked.

Gasper said providing assistance to SEALs in trouble is a key part of the SEAL brotherhood.

"That is just what we do," he said. "If you are sober, even if you are not," SEALs are going to attempt to help somebody.

The two traveled to Gasper's home, where Gasper used a telephone in an unsuccessful attempt to set up dates for the two men.

At this point, Gasper said, Jondahl began acting aggressively toward him, shadow boxing and pushing the older SEAL.

If Jondahl had been a friend, Gasper said, that behavior might have been tolerable. But Gasper said it made him "uncomfortable" because he did not know Jondahl.

Gasper said he eventually showed Jondahl the door and persuad ed him to move away from the house.

But moments later, Gasper said, as he was preparing for bed, he heard a crash and went to investigate. He said he found Jondahl on the patio, still behaving aggressively.

"He came over to me and bear hugged me, almost in a playful way," Gasper sai d.

But then, Gasper said, "he immediately went from that to a choke hold, very violently."

Gasper said: "He picked me up off the ground. M y feet were dangling. I was going out pretty quick."

Gasper said he regained his footing, slammed Jondahl against a wall and broke free as Jondahl tumbled into patio furniture.

Gasper said he ran through the house slamming doors and heading to his bedroom, where the Sig Sauer gun was stored.

When he returned with the gun, Jondahl remained aggressive, Gasper said.

As the two men backed through the house, Gasper said, Jondahl continued to advance, taunting him .

"He said: 'I am going to kill you,' " Gasper sai d.

At that point, Gasper said, he realized that "I am fighting for my life."

As the two men entered the garage, Gasper said he yelled for Jondahl to stop and fired a warning shot at his feet.

Gasper said Jondahl again grabbed him and began swinging at him .

Then, Gasper said, "the gun went off."

Jondahl fell to the floor of the garage, Gasper said. When Gasper saw the wound in Jondahl's abdomen, he said he remembered thinking: "My God, what just happened?"

Gasper called 911 moments later. When police arrived, he was led away from the garage by a Virginia Beach police officer.

As he approached the street, Gasper said, he asked Officer Jennifer Parker to take it slow.

"Hold on," Gasper said. "I've just shot a guy ."


Link Posted: 4/6/2006 10:32:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 10:32:50 PM EDT by blackbag223]
(note to self: dont fight SEALs)
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 10:34:03 PM EDT

Then, Gasper said, "the gun went off."


C'mon, our SEALS are supposed to be trained well enough to know that is total bullshit.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 10:46:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By S-1:
Navy SEAL found not guilty of murdering another SEAL




Gasper now faces a maximum charge of second-degree murder and a maximum penalty of slightly more than 40 years in prison.


I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express two weeks ago. Exactly where in the story does it state that a jury returned a "not guilty" verdict?

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 10:57:47 PM EDT
I think if anyone would know when to use deadly force it would be a seal
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 10:58:47 PM EDT
So the older guy left the scene of the fight to retrieve the weapon and then returned with the weapon only to shoot the younger man.

Sounds guilty to me.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:01:16 PM EDT
i dont know everything about this trial but SEALs are humans and they fuck up to. sounds like they both fucked up big time and one guy paid for it with his life.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:02:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 11:06:16 PM EDT by S-1]

Originally Posted By JS98010:

Originally Posted By S-1:
Navy SEAL found not guilty of murdering another SEAL




Gasper now faces a maximum charge of second-degree murder and a maximum penalty of slightly more than 40 years in prison.


I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express two weeks ago. Exactly where in the story does it state that a jury returned a "not guilty" verdict?




No need to be an asshat about it. I posted a link that told more of the story. Here's a link of him being acquitted.

home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=102608&ran=167544

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:04:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Silesius:
So the older guy left the scene of the fight to retrieve the weapon and then returned with the weapon only to shoot the younger man.

Sounds guilty to me.



No, Gasper was in his own home when this went down.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:06:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By leelaw:

Then, Gasper said, "the gun went off."


C'mon, our SEALS are supposed to be trained well enough to know that is total bullshit.



The twelve people listening to the story eat that kind of shit up.


Moral: Be very careful who you invite into your home and be careful about visiting “friends” homes.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:06:42 PM EDT
What a terrible waste of taxpayer's money. How much money, time, & effort went into training these guys, and now they are both lost.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:12:09 PM EDT
not guilty

the other guy was drunk out of his mind. Alcohol is more dangerous than people give it credit for, and you should know your limits and what you do when you're drunk.

Some people always want to get in fights. Me? The guy was acting in self defense, especially since the other guy didn't show restraint in using his training.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:15:24 PM EDT
That story set the gaydar off for some reason.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:17:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 11:23:06 PM EDT by Sub-MOA]

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
That story set the gaydar off for some reason.




I hope that the popo was competent enough to look into that angle...

<!-ETA->

After rereading the story, I think that it was worded to arouse that suspicion. Would not be the first time I've seen a reporter engage in a backhanded smear of someone with simple innuendo.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:18:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 11:18:41 PM EDT by S-1]

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
That story set the gaydar off for some reason.



Gasper was actually trying to get his "exotic dancer" girlfriend to come over and bring a friend for Jondahl. There's nothing "gay" about it.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:20:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By S-1:

Originally Posted By Silesius:
So the older guy left the scene of the fight to retrieve the weapon and then returned with the weapon only to shoot the younger man.

Sounds guilty to me.



No, Gasper was in his own home when this went down.



It certainly sounds like he could have divorced himself from the situation.

Especially after that whole spiel about SEAL brotherhood, you'd think the last thing he would do was reintroduce himself into the situation with a deadly weapon.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:29:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Silesius:
So the older guy left the scene of the fight to retrieve the weapon and then returned with the weapon only to shoot the younger man.

Sounds guilty to me.




Reading comprehension not one of your many talents, eh ?


Or are you just trolling again, as usual....

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:30:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Silesius:

Originally Posted By S-1:

Originally Posted By Silesius:
So the older guy left the scene of the fight to retrieve the weapon and then returned with the weapon only to shoot the younger man.

Sounds guilty to me.



No, Gasper was in his own home when this went down.



It certainly sounds like he could have divorced himself from the situation.

Especially after that whole spiel about SEAL brotherhood, you'd think the last thing he would do was reintroduce himself into the situation with a deadly weapon.



Gasper did kick him out of the house. Jondahl then kicked in his door and started to choke him out to the point that Gasper deficated himself. He then went to get his pistol and Jondahl continued to go after him saying that"he was going to kill him". Gasper fired a "warning" shot into the ground and he kept on swinging and coming after him. Gasper was blocking his punches with his left hand and fired a round into his abdomen.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:31:34 PM EDT
Sorry......

This is why only very few people enter my home.

I'm sad to hear about the conflict.

"The younger commando was drunk"

SHIT!

Man, do I remember that excuse a few years back.

I never tried to choke anyone.

I had a few nasty rounds in GE...Downtown Graf....

I lost my F'ing Stetson after getting my Azz kicked.....

I just punched people in good natured fun.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:42:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 11:44:27 PM EDT by VT4meGunCtrlisAntiUS]

Originaly posted by warlord

What a terrible waste of taxpayer's money. How much money, time, & effort went into training these guys, and now they are both lost.


Yep, you got it right there. I'm sure that both of these young men meant for the best in their personal lives. A very sad story..

--VT
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:15:25 AM EDT
sounds like the drunk seal was a complete dipshit, not giving a damn about his own life or the life of his new pal. he needed to be shot, or the other guy would have possibly been killed. People can be completely different when theyre drunk, and sometimes very dangerous, just because the guy was under the affects of alcohol doesnt mean he should have been given any slack, at all. If what the victem said is true then the drunken seal was given an opportunity to save his own life by backing downand chilling out. I'm sure if i were in the same position i would have done the same. i'm not saying it's simple to take someones life, and then having to live with that choice, but that was really the only option i see available in such a situation.

one thing i dont understand, it says the guy was on the phone trying to set up a date for the two men, what's that mean? i really dont understand that...
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:27:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RockoZ:
one thing i dont understand, it says the guy was on the phone trying to set up a date for the two men, what's that mean? i really dont understand that...

They wanted some girls for

Kharn
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:36:45 AM EDT
...and now he has to put up with the BS lawsuit from the drunk's parents.

Back in 1981 or so, my dad was jumped in the NYC subway, and a choke hold put on him. He also cleared his bowels, but passed out. The doctors said he came within a hair of his life.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:36:57 AM EDT
tag for later.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:55:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
That story set the gaydar off for some reason.



Exactly. Something happened that set Jondahl off. What makes no sense is the fight, as described, had no catalyst.

If the word "SEAL" was removed and Virginia Beach replaced with "San Francisco" it would be plain.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:02:10 AM EDT
what happens if a SEAL kills a seal?
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:21:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Silesius:
So the older guy left the scene of the fight to retrieve the weapon and then returned with the weapon only to shoot the younger man.

Sounds guilty to me.



The scene of the fight WAS HIS HOME.

Where the f*ck was he supposed to go???
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:25:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 4:35:03 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By ODA_564:
Exactly. Something happened that set Jondahl off. What makes no sense is the fight, as described, had no catalyst.

If the word "SEAL" was removed and Virginia Beach replaced with "San Francisco" it would be plain.



My experience with someone who is highly intoxicated is that you don't need a rational reason to set one off.

Especially when they are trained to be agressive. When guys with lots of training start getting tipsy, I usually try to find somewhere else to be.

Some people giggle like school girls when they get really drunk. Some people turn into emotional blubberers who love everybody.

Some people turn into raging violent nutcases.

Case in point: I was out one night with some friends, and a girl who had a crush on me (this was a long time ago) got a bit hammered and very flirty. After a couple more shots (which I urged her not to have) she stopped being flirty and got agressive. Agressive to the point that she took a full on swing at me and clocked me right in the jaw.

This girl was an athlete, so she was strong.

Thankfully, I was much much stronger and when she tried to kick me I grabbed her leg and basically tackled her and pinned her arms behind her. Then she got REALLY mad and started to get up....with all 230 pounds of me on her back....

She was a perfectly nice girl most of the time, but for some reason I have yet to understand she went from flirty to trying to bash my head in in about 3 seconds.

Drunks are dangerous.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:27:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 4:29:57 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By Cleatus:
what happens if a SEAL kills a seal?



Dunno.

The immediate thought is that his career in the teams is over, but usually in tight knit communities like that people are likely to examine the situation. Odds are that Gasper's team mates have a good read on what the truth is.

If someone puts you in a chokehold to the point where you crap your pants, then you don't have the luxury of assuming that they are goofing around.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:36:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Magurgle:
I think if anyone would know when to use deadly force it would be a seal



Or Chuck Norris
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 4:37:57 AM EDT
I drink, but nothing good can come from getting stupid drunk.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 5:04:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By ODA_564:
Exactly. Something happened that set Jondahl off. What makes no sense is the fight, as described, had no catalyst.

If the word "SEAL" was removed and Virginia Beach replaced with "San Francisco" it would be plain.



My experience with someone who is highly intoxicated is that you don't need a rational reason to set one off.

Especially when they are trained to be agressive. When guys with lots of training start getting tipsy, I usually try to find somewhere else to be.

Some people giggle like school girls when they get really drunk. Some people turn into emotional blubberers who love everybody.

Some people turn into raging violent nutcases.

Case in point: I was out one night with some friends, and a girl who had a crush on me (this was a long time ago) got a bit hammered and very flirty. After a couple more shots (which I urged her not to have) she stopped being flirty and got agressive. Agressive to the point that she took a full on swing at me and clocked me right in the jaw.

This girl was an athlete, so she was strong.

Thankfully, I was much much stronger and when she tried to kick me I grabbed her leg and basically tackled her and pinned her arms behind her. Then she got REALLY mad and started to get up....with all 230 pounds of me on her back....

She was a perfectly nice girl most of the time, but for some reason I have yet to understand she went from flirty to trying to bash my head in in about 3 seconds.

Drunks are dangerous.



+1000

Very tragic, but I hope the acquitted SEAL can continue fighting for this country.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:37:44 AM EDT
LET'S SEE........HMMMMMM.....TRAINED SEAL VS TRAINED SEAL.........HE'S DANGLING FROM A STRANGLEHOLD AND HAS TO SHOOT!.......HANDS
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:49:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DEGREEONE:
LET'S SEE........HMMMMMM.....TRAINED SEAL VS TRAINED SEAL.........HE'S DANGLING FROM A STRANGLEHOLD AND HAS TO SHOOT!...........TWO FEET AND TWO HANDS FREE TO USE.......GUY IS 3X INTOX. LEVEL.......



Jebus!

How about posting in English next time?
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:51:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By M4arc:

Originally Posted By DEGREEONE:
LET'S SEE........HMMMMMM.....TRAINED SEAL VS TRAINED SEAL.........HE'S DANGLING FROM A STRANGLEHOLD AND HAS TO SHOOT!...........TWO FEET AND TWO HANDS FREE TO USE.......GUY IS 3X INTOX. LEVEL.......



Jebus!

How about posting in English next time?




+1

I thought that was RADDAD or markm for a moment.....
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:52:08 AM EDT
When the vision starts to tunnel out .... from red to a fuzzy black tunnel... and you void your bowels....

Your survival training takes over.... SEAL training is not the same as Police Officers... submission.. bone strikes... muscle strikes etc.... it is to END a conflict....

The survivor was a member of ST6... NOT someone to be playing games with.


Guy got insanely drunk and went into a complete rage.... unless you have dealt with a drunk like that, in the peak of fitness... trained to a hairs edge for combat... STFU.


The whole thing is a bad deal... PERIOD.


Dram out
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:58:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
That story set the gaydar off for some reason.



+1

I have a feeling that is not exactly what happened.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:09:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DEGREEONE:
LET'S SEE........HMMMMMM.....TRAINED SEAL VS TRAINED SEAL.........HE'S DANGLING FROM A STRANGLEHOLD AND HAS TO SHOOT!...........TWO FEET AND TWO HANDS FREE TO USE.......GUY IS 3X INTOX. LEVEL.......



Tell us all about it, Mr. Ninja.

Tell us all about how you can get out of a chokehold and not resort to using a lethal weapon against a strong, trained, and inebriated opponent.

You selling much jerky lately??
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:14:44 AM EDT
Some people become real monsters when they are intoxicated. Or perhaps, the alcohol removes the veneer of phony civility that they otherwise display.

I could name specific examples that I have personally witnessed, but the organization that these fellows belong to doesn't deserve the inevitable guilt by association.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:27:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 7:28:01 AM EDT by nationwide]
This thread should be titled:

"No good deed goes unpunished, or Brokeback BUD/S"



I have no sympathy in the loss of a violent drunk. If you can't handle you're drink, too fucking bad!

Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:28:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nationwide:


"Brokeback BUD/S"






I have to laugh at that....

Link Posted: 4/7/2006 9:37:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
That story set the gaydar off for some reason.



+1

I have a feeling that is not exactly what happened.



Why are people saying their "gaydar" is going off. Like I said above, there's nothing Gay about. it. In fact, Gaspers "exotic dancer" girlfriends and his ex-girlfriends testified in the trial.

Since you know what happened, why don't you fill us in on it?
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:24:30 PM EDT
Why is th is murder?


An oversized drunken homosexual makes an unwanted advance on an older guy then attacks him in the bedroom. In order to save his butt virginity he has to kill the homosexual. If it had been a woman shooting a 6'2", 230 pound drunken man for attacking her and chasing her to her bedroom and he had a BAL three times the legal limit, we would have never heard a damned word.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:30:58 PM EDT

Then, Gasper said, "the gun went off."

LOL.

Yeah.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:32:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
That story set the gaydar off for some reason.


Yep. The details that were given tripped it off.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:32:31 PM EDT
OMG, I can't believe it, a 9mm killed someone.


Stupid.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:32:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JS98010:

Originally Posted By S-1:
Navy SEAL found not guilty of murdering another SEAL




Gasper now faces a maximum charge of second-degree murder and a maximum penalty of slightly more than 40 years in prison.


I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express two weeks ago. Exactly where in the story does it state that a jury returned a "not guilty" verdict?




You are correct. The article states only that the judge presiding threw out the first degree murder charge. He is still standing trial for 2nd degree murder.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:35:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By S-1:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
That story set the gaydar off for some reason.



+1

I have a feeling that is not exactly what happened.



Why are people saying their "gaydar" is going off. Like I said above, there's nothing Gay about. it. In fact, Gaspers "exotic dancer" girlfriends and his ex-girlfriends testified in the trial.

Since you know what happened, why don't you fill us in on it?



Well then maybe it is true.

But with the way the story is written. It sounds more like non-drunk Seal, picked up drunk Seal, took him back to his pad, made some type of sexual advacnce towards drunk Seal, drunk Seal then proceeds to kick the other Seals ass, only to be shot. The gun just went off excuse.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 2:37:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hellhound:
Originally Posted By nationwide:
"Brokeback BUD/S"


Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:24:20 PM EDT
WTF folks? Why is everyone accusing the surviving SEAL of being a butt-pirate? All Navy jokes aside.

Hell, I'd like to see how many of you would call this man a faggot to his face? Huh...? Well, that's what I thought.
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