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Stryker soldier linked to Afghan murders due in court this week

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on June 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm with No Comments »
June 20, 2011 2:50 pm

A Stryker soldier linked to the murder of an Afghan civilian during a deployment last year will get a chance to see new evidence against him at a pretrial hearing this week at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Prosecutors allege Staff Sgt. David Bram of Vacaville, Calif., should have done more to stop civilian killings when his platoon mates discussed ways to murder civilians in combat-like situations.

He’s accused of joining his platoon mates in scheming to kill civilians, assaulting Afghans, failing to report crimes, assaulting a fellow soldier, impeding an Army investigation and planting evidence near an Afghan’s corpse.

Five of Bram’s former platoon mates in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division allegedly murdered three civilians last year. One of the defendants, Spc. Jeremy Morlock, pled guilty and agreed to testify against the others.

Those five soldiers have faced murder charges since last June. Bram initially wasn’t part of that group. His original charges centered on beating up a subordinate and trying to obstruct an Army investigation.

Last month, the Army pressed more charges against him based in part on a written statement from Morlock that alleges Bram joined in discussions about murdering civilians and consented to killing one noncombatant during a January 2010 patrol.

Bram has regularly appeared in court over the past six months watching his codefendants’ hearings. He has not testified.

His Article 32 hearing this week is expected to take place on Wednesday and Thursday. An investigating officer will consider the Army’s case at the hearing and recommend whether Bram should face a court-martial for the new charges.

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