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First Stryker court-martial set for Wednesday

Post by Matt Misterek / The News Tribune on Nov. 30, 2010 at 11:09 am with No Comments »
November 30, 2010 11:14 am

The first general court-martial involving one of 12 Stryker soldiers accused of wrongdoing in southern Afghanistan is scheduled to begin Wednesday, the Army announced this morning.

Staff Sgt. Robert G. Stevens will face a military judge during proceedings scheduled to start at Joint Base Lewis-McChord at 9 a.m. Stevens waived his rights to a pretrial hearing, the Army said in a release Tuesday. The soldier could have used that hearing to collect evidence for his defense.

Stevens is one of seven soldiers from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division facing charges of serious misconduct while deployed. Five other men from the brigade face charges for murdering Afghan civilians earlier this year.

Charges against Stevens include conspiracy to commit aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon; aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon; wrongfully and wantonly engaging in conduct likely to cause death or bodily harm to other soldiers; dereliction of duty; and two counts of making a false statement.

If convicted, he faces a maximum punishment of 27 1/2 years in prison.

Another Stryker soldier in the larger criminal investigation of the platoon is poised to waive his right to a pretrial hearing that was supposed to take place this week. Spc. Adam Winfield is accused of killing a civilian, shooting at farmers and smoking hashish during his brigade’s deployment at Forward Operating Base Ramrod. Eric Montalvo, Winfield’s attorney, said last week he was negotiating a plea deal that would call on Winfield to testify against his co-defendants.

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