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Accused Afghan civilian killer will go to full Army trial

Post by Matt Misterek / The News Tribune on Oct. 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
October 15, 2010 1:05 pm

Spc. Jeremy Morlock, the first accused Afghanistan civilian killer to face charges in a military courtroom so far, will go to a full court-martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and could face life in prison without possibility of parole.

The joint base announced today that the commanding general, Maj. Gen. John Johnson, decided this week to move forward with the case against Morlock after reviewing the charges and evidence and after considering the recommendation of the brigade commander, Col. Barry Huggins, as well as that of the Staff Judge Advocate.

It was one of the last decisions that Johnson made as the commander of the local Army base. Maj. Gen. Curtis “Mike” Scaparrotti assumed command in a ceremony today.

According to a statement from Lewis-McChord: “The case will now come under the control of a military judge who will arraign the accused, and set dates for potential motion hearings and the trial. No trial date has been set as of today.”

Morlock, 22, is accused of joining four fellow soldiers from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in a conspiracy to commit premeditated murder against Afghan civilians during the brigade’s recent deployment to Southern Afghanistan. Morlock allegedly had a role in all three reported murders.

The other charges he faces include:

* One specification of assault.

* One specification of conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, and one specification of conspiracy to commit assault and battery.

* One specification of wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation.

* One specification of violating a lawful general order.

* One specification of wrongfully using a Schedule I controlled substance.

As we reported last week, the Army’s investigating officer, Col. Thomas Molloy, recommended that Morlock go to a full trial to face the charges.

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