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Army alleges a sixth Stryker soldier participated in Afghan murders

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on May 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm with 3 Comments »
May 17, 2011 3:38 pm

The Army today accused a sixth Stryker soldier at Joint Base Lewis-McChord of participating in staged killings of Afghan civilians during a deployment last year with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Staff Sgt. David Bram of Vacaville, Calif., previously faced less serious charges of misconduct that centered on his role in an assault on a private at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in southern Afghanistan in May 2010.

The Army now alleges that Bram played a bigger part in an alleged “kill team” that murdered three civilians.

He now stands accused of:

* Soliciting someone to commit murder,

* Assaulting Afghans with dangerous weapons,

* Engaging in conversations about murder scenarios with his subordinates,

* Planting evidence near a body,

* And, failing to report crimes including murder.

    Bram faces up to 21 years in prison. The Army intends to re-open an Article 32 hearing where an investigating officer will review the new charges and recommend whether he should stand trial for them.

    Twelve Lewis-McChord soldiers in Bram’s platoon were charged with various forms misconduct when they returned from their deployment.

    Five of them were charged with carrying out the three murders. One of the five, Spc. Jeremy Morlock, has pled guilty and agreed to testify against his codefendants.

    Morlock in his plea agreement described Bram as complicit in at least one of the murders. In that document, Morlock said he checked with Bram before executing a scheme he had discussed with another soldier to kill an Afghan with a grenade in such a way that incident would appear to be combat.

    That plot allegedly unfolded in January 2010 when Morlock spotted a young Afghan male in a field.

    “Bram communicated that it was clear to implement the scenario to kill the unarmed Afghan male,” the plea agreement reads.

    Bram appeared in court in October for an Article 32 hearing on the assault charges the Army initially filed against him. He did not speak at the hearing. He has appeared in court to watch some of his codefendants’ hearings, but he has not testified.

    Leave a comment Comments → 3
    1. Absolute disgrace to our country. Should turn him over to the Afghan’s and let their justice prevail!

    2. northwestchick says:

      I used to think the same way.. Prison for all involved. Until someone said.. “They make them into killing machines without remorse and then expect them to play nice!” They lost 37 men in the 5th brigade. They never caught a break except when they came home on leave. And not all of them made it home. Most of them did not come back the same. War is hell and that is where they lived for a year. They couldn’t trust anyone. How do you live like that?.

    3. trekontenner says:

      Well northwestchick, I don’t know how you were brought up by your parents, but even if you were taught to be a “killing machine” that does mean that you go around killing people for fun. All of the soldiers involved knew right from wrong and maybe they thought it would be fun to kill someone for the thrill of it. That in my book makes it a wrong and that is what they are being punished for. I am a veteran myself and never, never wanted to kill someone. If it cam down to me or them, that is a different story, but these people were just going about their daily lives. I don’t ever suppose they thought those soldiers would kill them for the “fun” of it.

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