Legal proceedings against four officers from the destroyer Fitzgerald will take place in May, Navy officials announced Monday.

Cmdr. Bryce Benson was the commanding officer of the Fitz in June, when it collided with a merchant vessel off Japan, killing seven sailors.

His Article 32 hearing will take place on May 21 at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

The Navy announced earlier this year that Benson faces charges that include negligent homicide.

An Article 32 hearing involves a military judge hearing all the evidence in a case and deciding whether it warrants a trial.

A junior officer aboard the Fitz, whom the Navy has declined to identify, will be arraigned and will offer a plea to a negligent dereliction of duty resulting in death charge during a special court-martial on May 8, navy officials said.

Two other unidentified junior officers from the Fitzgerald will face an Article 32 hearing on May 9, according to the Navy.

Less than two months after the Fitz collision, the destroyer John S. McCain collided with a tanker near Singapore, killing another 10 sailors.

The Navy announced charges against the McCain’s CO earlier this year.

But before the Fitz and McCain hearings were set to commence in March, the Navy announced they were delayed at the request of defense lawyers.

Navy officials said Monday that an update on the McCain cases is forthcoming.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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