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SoCal Coast Guard Officer Faces Court Martial For Fatal Crash

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(credit: AP/FILE)

(credit: AP/FILE)

SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A court martial is underway for a Coast Guard petty officer accused in the death of a young boy aboard a civilian vessel.

Petty Officer Paul Ramos of San Diego was driving a Coast Guard vessel when it collided with a pleasure boat on San Diego Bay during the 2009 Christmas Parade of Lights.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports eight-year-old Anthony DeWeese was killed and several others injured in the collision.

During opening statements, Ramos’ attorney said there had been a rush to judgment and that this was a tragedy but not a crime. The defense team also claimed that the boat carrying the boy did not have its stern light on at the time of the collision.

Prosecutors contend that Ramos was traveling too fast and did not follow safety procedures.

Ramos has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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