Coast Guardsman acquitted of manslaughter

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A Coast Guard petty officer who
piloted a boat involved in a collision that left a child dead on San Diego Bay was acquitted Tuesday of involuntary
manslaughter and three other charges.

After a court martial at Coast
Guard headquarters in Alameda,
Calif., a seven-member jury found
Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Ramos guilty of the lesser charge of dereliction
of duty for failure to conduct a risk assessment.

Ramos, 22, could face a maximum of
three months of confinement for that charge. The more serious charge could have
carried a 10-year sentence.

Ramos was piloting a 33-foot patrol
craft during San Diego’s annual Christmas Parade in 2009 when it crashed into
the boat of Alan DeWeese, whose 8-year-old son, Anthony, was killed. Five other
people were injured.

“My wife and I are devastated,”
Alan DeWeese said outside the courtroom. “When somebody runs over somebody and
kills an innocent bystander, you would think that there would be more than just
a dereliction of duty involved.”

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for the official Coast Guard press release on the verdict.