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Navy divers avoid trial in Md. training deaths

Friday - 1/17/2014, 2:41am  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- The Navy says a fourth Navy diver has chosen to accept non-judicial punishment in connection with the training deaths of two sailors in Maryland.

Navy Diver 1st Class James Reyher and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris drowned on Feb. 26 while working at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

The men in the Virginia Beach-based unit died after being sent to the bottom of the Super Pond underwater weapons-testing facility.

The Navy sought to punish five men for their roles in the accident. Four of those sailors originally wanted to have a court-martial instead of accepting the non-judicial punishment.

On Thursday, Navy officials said three of those men changed their minds. Their charges of dereliction of duty have been withdrawn.

The fifth sailor's court-martial is underway in Norfolk.

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