On Thursday Airman 1st Class Calvin Cooper leaves a preliminary hearing centered around a crash that took the life of a woman in Southeast Albuquerque last March. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

The airman who struck and killed a woman with his car last year near Kirtland Air Force Base is now headed to trial and facing possible prison time in the incident.

Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills, 19th Air Force commander, on Jan. 14 directed that Calvin Cooper be court-martialed on charges of drunken or reckless operation of a vehicle, manslaughter and negligent homicide in the March 23 death of 39-year-old Angelica Baca.

Eva Blaylock, a KAFB spokeswoman, said the date of the court-martial is pending but will likely be set for late spring or early summer.

During a Nov. 21 probable cause hearing, held in a military courtroom on base, defense counselors and staff judge advocates submitted evidence and argued before investigating officer Maj. Joshua Nettinga to make a determination of probable cause.

Before concluding that hearing, Nettinga said Cooper could face up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.

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