Jan 5, 2022, 7:55PM
to Andrew.Niebel, Todd.ferry, Robert.teller, ly.fecteau
Greetings General Niebel
Let me be brief. My daughter, Morgan Patten was killed in Onslow County on 8 November 2019, as a direct result of two Marine Corps Lance Corporals, Hunter Oneil Wells and Charles Edward Cornwall V. A criminal investigation into Morgan’s possible kidnapping remains open and active. Through a FOIA request, I recently received a redacted copy of the Line of Duty/Misconduct Investigation of Charles E. Cornwall ordered by Col. Ebitz on 25 November 2019, also approved by Col. Ebitz on 14 January 2020 (1534807011/5811 USMC).
I have communicated previously with current Bn. Commander, Col. Kyle Phillips and SJA Lt. Col. Michelle Over, and both have informed me that they cannot be of assistance.
I am requesting the Line of Duty/Misconduct Investigation of Charles E. Cornwall be reviewed and reopened, as I can provide irrefutable evidence that LCpl Cornwall was deceptive while providing Sworn Testimony to the Officer responsible for conducting said investigation. Please advise. Thank you and Semper Fi.
Niebel BGen Andrew M
Jan 7, 2022, 11:39AM
to Tellez, me, Ferry, Fecteau
First and foremost, I am very sorry for your loss. As you are aware, words cannot adequately express condolence for the loss of a family member. Throughout my 30 years in service as a Marine, I have dealt with the loss of Marines, their family members, and friends of Marines. All are tragic.
You mentioned a previous discussion with Colonel Phillips and LtCol Over, both of whom I’ve contacted to discuss their interaction with you. I can tell you that both Marines are compassionate and conduct themselves professionally. As previously discussed, the line of duty investigation is not a criminal investigation- it is administrative in nature to determine potential disability compensation. It has been completed over two years ago and in the case of LCpl Cornwall is not something that the command is able to effect. LCpl Cornwall has been discharged from the Marine Corps.
I understand you have concerns about the line of duty investigation. However, having read the investigation, I will tell you that questioning the veracity of LCpl Cornwall’s statements has no bearing as to whether his injuries were sustained in the line of duty, which is the purpose of a line of duty investigation. If you believe that there was misconduct involved in other events that occurred on the evening of the accident, that is separate and distinct from determining whether LCpl Cornwall’s injuries occurred as a result of his own misconduct. Unless a service member’s misconduct was the proximate cause of his injuries, he/she will be found in the line of duty.
I believe that clarity is helpful. I am being as straightforward as I can be to alleviate any ambiguity.
Jan 7, 2022, 2:05 PM
to Niebel, Ferry, Tellez, Fecteau
Thank you for your prompt response and your kind words. You are correct, clarity is helpful. I clearly understand your explanation of the Line of Duty Investigation, now allow me to clearly explain why I questioned its legitimacy.
The initial Order from Col. A.R. Ebitz, dated 25 Nov 2019, and all subsequent documents state the subject as “LINE OF DUTY/MISCONDUCT INVESTIGATION INTO THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE INJURIES SUSTAINED BY LANCE CORPORAL CHARLES E. CORNWALL V 1534807011/5811 USMC”. Furthermore, on the Suspects Rights/Acknowledgement Statement, item number (1) clearly states that LCpl Cornwall was being investigated for an Article 92 infraction, Under Age Drinking.
During the interview, LCpl Cornwall stated, “The hospital told me they did a blood test to see if I had alcohol in my system and they didn’t find any”. The records from Vidant Medical Center state that upon arrival, LCpl Cornwall’s blood alcohol content was .13. The records were included in the final Report, but apparently not checked against LCpl Cornwall’s Sworn Statement. A little bit of leg work would have revealed that he consumed 1 double shot of Jack Daniels, 1 single shot of Jack Daniels and 2) 20 ounce Sam Adams Oktoberfest beers within an hour and twenty minutes prior to the crash, which he purchased using a stolen Military ID card!
LCpl Cornwall also stated during the interview that he had been sitting in the front passenger seat, securely seatbelted at the time of the crash. The NCSHP Crash Report states that he had not been wearing a seatbelt and had been seated in the right REAR seat. Again, this document was included, but apparently not reviewed to substantiate.
Perhaps I AM wrong when questioning the purpose of the Line of Duty/Misconduct Investigation Report, but I am absolutely correct saying that the “Findings of Fact”
5. There is no evidence to suggest LCpl Cornwall consumed alcohol prior to the crash.
11. There is no evidence to suggest LCpl Cornwall was impaired in any capacity.
12. There is no evidence to suggest LCpl Cornwall was in an altered state of mind……..
15. LCpl Cornwall utilized all available Pesonal Protective Equipment available.
have no factual content whatsoever. LCpl Cornwall lied to the Investigating Officer and that Officer conducted a poor investigation.
Two years have passed, but what was wrong is still wrong. There must be a means of correcting this. It is my life’s mission, and that of my wife, to ensure LCpl Cornwall is convicted in civilian court, along with LCpl Hunter Wells for the kidnapping and eventual death of our only child. We will also go to extended lengths to be certain they are not able to enjoy the benefits of being a Marine throughout their miserable lives. That title is for honorable men and women!
Thank you, again.