PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) – Two sailors from a nuclear submarine charged with beating a former Maine town councilor will remain in the area until their case is resolved, likely not returning to duty aboard the USS Greeneville when it leaves the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

A submarine group spokesman says 22-year-old Gerald Smith of Honolulu and 23-year-old Sandy Portobanco of Inglewood, Calif., will be available as long as they are suspects.

Lt. Patrick Evans told the Portsmouth Herald that although the Greeneville is based in Honolulu, it’s under the command of the Groton, Conn., submarine group while at Portsmouth. Evans declined to say when it’s leaving.

Smith and Portobanco are charged with first-degree assault.

in the beating of Stephen Huntress in Portsmouth, N.H. They’ve been jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Information from: Portsmouth Herald, http://www.seacoastonline.com

AP-ES-05-28-09 0621EDT

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