Updated: November 21, 2019 10:27 PM
Created: November 21, 2019 08:34 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- An airman faced a military court at Kirtland Air Force Base Thursday.
Airman First Class Calvin Cooper is accused of crashing his car into Angelica Baca, who was crossing Louisiana near Gibson in March.
Major Bradley Sauer said the Air Force received permission from the Bernalillo County district attorney to take over the case.
“More often than not, [we] want to keep jurisdiction over our own airman in order to maximize good order and discipline and have that control over what happens to them,” Major Sauer said.
Thursday’s preliminary hearing was scheduled to determine whether there is enough probable cause to move forward with a court-martial.
“Here at Kirtland, we have not had very much in the way of trial in the recent past,” Major Sauer said.
Military prosecutors say a 442-page investigation showed Cooper was driving anywhere from 58 to 68 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone - with three other airmen in the car.
They added that Cooper was driving in a center lane, which was not intended for traffic, for more than the length of a football field.
However, they said street racing does not appear to have been a factor, which Albuquerque police initially indicated. Alcohol was also not a factor, according to prosecutors.
Cooper left Thursday’s hearing facing involuntary manslaughter - which could mean up ten years behind bars if he's found guilty.
The Air Force will make a probable cause determination in the next week. Senior officials will then determine how the case will move forward.
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