The leader of the platoon in which five Stryker soldiers allegedly murdered three Afghan civilians testified Monday afternoon that he was on the scene shortly after the third killing took place.
Lt. Stefan Moye said he took over the platoon on March 21, after the first two alleged murders in January and February. He was interviewing someone at the unit compound on the day of the third and final reported killing in May. He said he responded to the scene, where he found Spc. Jeremy Morlock and Spc. Adam Winfield, both in a prone position as if they’d been firing.
Moye also reported seeing their target: a dead Afghan man who was missing a leg and marked with gunshot wounds, with the remains of a Russian-made grenade near his head.
In Morlock’s testimony to investigators, which was read earlier in Monday’s proceedings, the soldier said that the alleged ringleader of the murders, Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, had kept a Russian-made grenade for the purpose of killing a civilian.
But at the time, Moye said he had no reason to believe the grenade held any significance, or that his men had committed a crime. He said he was told by soldiers in the squad that they had been engaged by an enemy fighter.
“The reason I wasn’t suspicious was that I saw this grenade I had never seen before, and there was no situation I’ve been in with this platoon when they would have access to a grenade like that,” Moye said during his afternoon testimony, which lasted less than an hour.
Moye also said he saw no sign while serving with Morlock in Southern Afghanistan that he was influenced by drugs, but the lieutenant said his duties kept him busy and he might have missed it.
Morlock’s pretrial hearing was scheduled to wrap up this evening.
Read Tuesday’s News Tribune for the complete story.