Sailor Charged With Attempted Murder for Naval Base Stabbing

Jul 25, 2014

The sailor who stabbed another serviceman at a naval base in Portsmouth, Virginia last month has been charged with attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, Navy spokesperson Jim Moir announced Friday afternoon.

The alleged perpetrator, Wilbur Harwell, an active-duty 3rd Class Petty Officer, is in the Navy's custody and awaits a hearing scheduled for August 18, Moir wrote. The victim, Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin D. Powell, was released from the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center on June 20, two weeks after the stabbing in a barracks room of the Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads Portsmouth Annex.

It took more than eight hours for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to find Harwell at a "oceanfront hotel" in Virginia Beach, wrote Moir.

The stabbing spawned an emergency lockdown at the base. Moir, citing Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents, wrote that another service member may have aided Harwell's escape before the gates closed.

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