July 31, 2009 in Region

Fort Lewis soldier to be charged in teen’s death

Associated Press
 

FORT LEWIS — The Army says a Fort Lewis soldier from Indiana will face a court martial in the death of his 16-year-old girlfriend.

Pvt. Timothy E. Bennitt is charged with involuntary manslaughter and drug crimes. His girlfriend, Leah King, died in his barracks Feb. 15 after an overdose of prescription pills.

No date for the court martial has been set.

Bennitt faces up to 82 years in prison, reduction in rank, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a dishonorable discharge from the Army if convicted.

Prosecutors say Bennitt, 19 and originally from Rolling Prairie, Ind., provided King with oxymorphone, knowing she had a history of substance abuse, and allowed her to mix the painkiller with Xanax.

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