HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Air Force has begun court martial proceedings against a Kapolei couple, accusing them of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in a case related to the death of their infant son and injuries to the daughter.
Sgt. Caleb Humphrey and Sgt. Natasha Beyer have been under investigation for nearly a year. The injuries to the couple’s daughter -- who was born after the boy’s death ― triggered that investigation.
“Lightning doesn’t strike twice. When you have a pattern of behavior and you see children within a certain age bracket that are being injures that’s a huge indication that something is awry," said attorney Myles Breiner, who has handled a number of military criminal investigations but does not represent the couple.
According to a report filed last year by an Air Force investigator, the couple’s son, Grayson, was just a month old when he was taken to the Tripler Army Medical Center in May 2016. He died a short time later.
Military doctors originally thought the boy had died of natural causes, but his death was later reclassified as a homicide after the Honolulu Medical Examiner found that he had suffered broken ribs and injuries to his head.
The Medical Examiner conducted the re-examination after Grayson’s younger sister was taken to Tripler in July 2017 with a fractured skull, multiple rib fractures and a broken leg. The girl, who survived her injuries, was two weeks old at the time.
The couple, who own a home in Kapolei, could not be reached. Their military lawyer also was not available.
Breiner said a military court-martial doesn’t mean the couple will get more leniency.
“The repercussions are just as severe. Whether they are military or civilian, there are consequences should this result in a finding of fact against Sgt. Beyer and Sgt. Humphrey," Breiner said.
The Air Force subpoenaed the couple’s financial records last year, saying the documents may provide a financial motivation for the children’s injuries.
"The financial records sought by the subpoenas may substantiate the financial difficulties of Sgt. Beyer and Sgt. Humphrey and therefore provide a financial motive for death of (their son)," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Sydney Spector.
The trial is scheduled for January.