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Corporal to face court martial Wednesday in Afghan war crimes case

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Jan. 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
January 4, 2011 3:10 pm

A corporal who cooperated with an Army war crimes investigation will face a court martial Wednesday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord over charges that he beat up a fellow soldier and used drugs during his deployment to Afghanistan.

Emmitt Quintal, 22, of Weston, Ore., could be discharged from the Army, spend a year in prison and lose two thirds of his pay if he’s found guilty. He’s also accused of violating a general order by keeping images of Afghan casualties.

He’s one of 12 soldiers in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division who are accused of various crimes they allegedly committed at Forward Operating Base Ramrod. Five are accused of murdering three civilians between January and May.

Prosecutors last month said in court that negotiations were taking place to give Quintal a plea deal.

Shortly afterward, it was announced that his maximum penalty would be a year in a prison. By contrast, Spc. Corey Moore, a platoon mate who faces similar charges, could go to jail for 11 years.

Sworn statements obtained by The News Tribune show that Quintal was troubled by wrongdoing in his platoon, including misconduct in which he participated.

He told investigators in May that he had smoked hashish with other soldiers and participated in an assault on Pfc. Justin Stoner after Stoner complained about drug use in their platoon.

Stoner has since testified at hearings for Quintal’s codefendants that Quintal apologized for the beating and appeared to be a reluctant participant.

Quintal told investigators that he was aware of suspicious civilian killings, and he said they were orchestrated by Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs. Gibbs, 25, is accused of having a hand in each of the three murders in the war crimes case.

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