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Press Release

Military Dependent Pleads Guilty to the Attempted Murder of Her Infant Child in Spain

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A U.S. citizen and military dependent pleaded guilty today to the attempted murder of her infant child while stationed with her husband in Spain. 

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney John W. Huber of the District of Utah, Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel of the FBI’s Salt Lake City, Utah Field Office and Col. Shan B. Nuckols, Commander of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), 5th Field Investigations Region, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, made the announcement.

Shawna Chapman, 32, formerly of Cottage Grove, Oregon, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted second-degree murder, under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, before U.S. District Judge David Sam of the District of Utah.  Judge Sam scheduled Chapman’s sentencing hearing for June 5, 2019. 

According to admissions made in connection with her plea, on Feb. 10, 2016, Chapman was living in Utrera, Spain as the military dependent of her husband, who was stationed at the Moron Air Force Base in Moron, Spain.  At approximately 11:00 a.m. that day, Chapman used a knife to stab her 11-month-old daughter in the abdomen, intending to kill her.  The child suffered a life-threatening injury, requiring immediate life-saving surgery and extended hospitalization. 

FBI and AFOSI investigated the case in close cooperation with Spanish authorities.  Trial Attorney Jamie Perry of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrea Martinez and Drew Yeates of the District of Utah are prosecuting the case. 

The Department of Justice gratefully acknowledges the government of Spain, to include the Ministry of Defense, the Judicial Police of Utrera and the Civil Guard for their extraordinary efforts, support, and professionalism in responding to this incident.

Updated March 27, 2019

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 19-278