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Sailor Held on $250,000 Bail in NY

October 8, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A Navy petty officer charged in the death of a female shipmate told police he went to another room and went to sleep after watching her fall from a Times Square hotel window, court papers say.

Petty Officer Brian Cooley, 29, was held on $250,000 bail after his arraignment late Sunday on a manslaughter charge in the death of Lisa Tedstone, 30, a seaman from Simpsonville, S.C.

Cooley, of LaPorte, Ind., told police the pair argued violently early Saturday before he grabbed her arm, punched her and pushed her toward the open sixth-floor window of the Milford Plaza. He then watched her fall, according to a criminal complaint.

Cooley ``heard (Tedstone) hit the sidewalk with a thud and then left the room and went to sleep in a different room at the same hotel,″ the complaint said.

Cooley faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He will be kicked out of the service if convicted, said Petty Officer Paul Taylor, a spokesman for the Naval Surface Force, Atlantic Fleet.

His lawyer, Michelle Gelernt, said a witness, sailor Jeremy Worrell, was asked to stay in New York for a possible appearance Tuesday before a grand jury. She said she didn’t know whether Cooley would testify.

Cooley and Tedstone were part of the crew of the USS Wasp, which returned last month from deployment in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and has been docked in New Jersey. Tedstone had been a systems operations specialist, while Cooley worked as a naval hull technician.