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Court martial pending for soldier from Cape Coral

By Staff | Dec 3, 2010

A soldier from Cape Coral accused of murdering an Afghan civilian will go before a military court for a trial, according to information released Friday.
Spc. Adam Winfield, 21, is the second soldier to have the general court-martial convening authorities refer court-martial charges against him to a general court-martial. On Oct. 15, military officials announced Spc. Jeremy Morlock, 22, of Wasilla, Alaska, was referred court-martial charges.
As of Friday, no trial date had been set for Winfield, who, through his attorney, waived his right to a preliminary hearing last week.
It was unknown if a trial date had been set for Morlock.
The I Corps Public Affairs Office at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington reported that Winfield “waived his rights for an Article 32 hearing prior to the case being referred to a general court-martial.”
Winfield is facing one specification each of premeditated murder, committing an assault with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and wrongfully using a schedule I controlled substance.
According to officials, he faces a maximum punishment of imprisonment for life without the possibility for parole if convicted of all specifications.
Winfield has denied the allegations and the Army is investigating reports he notified his family — who then notified authorities — after the first death that individuals in his unit were involved in a plot to kill Afghan civilians for kicks.
On May 20, U.S. forces announced that five soldiers had been implicated in the alleged murders of three Afghan civilians between January and May. All five were assigned to the B Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
Winfield, who told his parents his life was threatened by others alleged to be involved, is charged in connection with the third death.
Morlock was referred to a court-martial following an Article 32 hearing.
He is charged with three specifications of premeditated murder and one specification each of assault, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit assault and battery, wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation, violating a lawful general order and wrongfully using a controlled substance.
If convicted on all specifications, Morlock also faces a maximum punishment of imprisonment for life, without the possibility of parole, officials reported.
The others accused in connection to the alleged murders are:
n Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, 25, of Billings, Mont.
n Pvt. 1st Class Andrew Holmes, 19, of Boise, Idaho
n Spc. Michael Wagnon, 29, of Las Vegas, Nev.
An Article 32 hearing was held for Wagnon on Nov. 19. He is facing one specification each of conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit assault consummated by battery, committing assault with a dangerous weapon and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.
It was unknown Friday what the outcome of the hearing was.
On Nov. 12, an Article 32 hearing was held for Holmes. He is facing one specification each of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, violating a lawful general order and wrongfully using a controlled substance.
The outcome of Holmes’ hearing also was unknown Friday.
An Article 32 hearing was held Nov. 9 for Gibbs. He is charged with three specifications of premeditated murder and two specifications each of conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation and dereliction of duty.
Gibbs also is facing one specification each of committing assault with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, unlawfully striking another soldier, conspiracy to commit assault consummated by battery, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, wrongfully communicating a threat to injure and violating a lawful general order.
It was unknown Friday what the outcome of the hearing was.
According to the charge sheets, Winfield is accused of killing Mullah Adahdad by throwing a grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle on or about May 2, while Holmes is accused of killing Gul Mudin by throwing a grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle on or about Jan. 31.
Wagnon is charged with killing Marach Agha by shooting him with a rifle on or about Feb. 22. The sheets state that he obtained a hard drive containing evidence of the murders and asked another soldier to erase the information.