An airman at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, is facing court-martial beginning Jan. 25 in connection with a fatal car crash nearly two years ago.

Airman 1st Class Calvin Cooper is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide and reckless driving, according to a base press release. His prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice stems from a fatal vehicular accident on March 23, 2019, that resulted in the death of 39-year-old Angelica Baca, a resident of Albuquerque.

Cooper is assigned to the 58th Special Operations Wing’s maintenance group, according to Eva Blaylock, a base spokeswoman. He entered active duty in May 2017 and was serving as a CV-22 Osprey assistant dedicated crew chief, according to the Air Force Personnel Center.

Investigators originally suspected the car full of airmen driven by Cooper was involved in a street race with another vehicle, according to local media, but prosecutors now allege that Cooper was speeding and using the median to pass another car when he hit and killed Baca near Louisiana and Gibson boulevards, at the north edge of the base. The car then careened into an apartment building and Cooper was taken into custody, local televsion station KOB-4, reported at the time.

All four airmen were injured, three of them critically. Although the other three airmen in the vehicle were investigated, none have been charged.

Cooper’s trial, which is expected to last seven to nine days, will be held in Kirtland’s courtroom.

Because of the nature of the offense, the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office ceded jurisdiction to the Air Force to conduct a further investigation and prosecute the case, according to the base press release.

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