Military, police square off over Marine's death

JULIE WATSON Published:

Associated Press (AP) -- For the Marines who served with Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr., it would have been an injustice to stay quiet.

So in a move that broke with the military's tradition, Loggins' commanding officer at California's Camp Pendleton publicly rebuked civilian authorities in neighboring Orange County for their handling of the investigation into the fatal Feb. 7 shooting by a deputy of the highly esteemed Marine.

While Marines have each other's backs on the battlefield, when they get into trouble back home off base, the military tends to step aside while police investigate. But Marines say this time was different.

The death of Loggins has rocked the tight-knit Marine Corps community. Fellow troops describe him as a devout Christian man who was dedicated to his pregnant wife and three children -- and was nothing like the picture painted by law enforcement.