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JBLM sets date for first hearing into alleged war crimes

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Sep. 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
September 23, 2010 3:18 pm

Spc. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, will be the first of five 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division soldiers accused of committing war crimes in Afghanistan to appear before a hearing that will help determine whether he will stand trial for the charges.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord announced today that Morlcok will have an Article 32 hearing Monday. It’s similar to a grand jury hearing, and it is expected to last one day. Afterward, a judge would recommend whether Morlock should stand trial.

Morlock allegedly plotted to murder Afghan civilians by creating scenarios in which the killing would appear combat related.

Charges against Morlock include:

 - Three specifications of premeditated murder under Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 118

-  One specification of assault under UCMJ, Article 128

-  One specification of conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, and one specification of conspiracy to commit assault and battery, UCMJ Article 81

-  One specification of wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation, UCMJ Article 134

-  One specification of violating a lawful general order, UCMJ Article 92

-  One specification of wrongfully using a Schedule I controlled substance, UCMJ Article 112a

Morlock’s attorney, Michael Waddington, has not returned calls for comment over the past two weeks. 

Documents filed with the magistrate overseeing the case suggest that Morlock had confessed to the crimes to Army investigators, but his attorney has since withdrawn from that position. Morlock and Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs are the only soldiers in the group who stand accused of all three killings, which took place in southern Afghanistan between January and May.

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