Army: Fort Lewis soldier charged in 3 Afghan deaths
FORT LEWIS, Wash. — The Army said Friday a soldier has been charged with the murders of three Afghan civilians.
A statement from the Army said Spc. Jeremy Morlock had been charged with three counts of premeditated murder and one count of assault.
Morlock, 22, of Wasilla, Alaska, is an infantryman assigned to B Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
He entered the military in June 2006 and received initial entry training and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, Ga., reporting to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in December 2006.
Morlock deployed in July 2009 with his unit in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He returned to the Washington state base Thursday. He was charged Friday and has been placed in pretrial confinement.
Joint Base spokeswoman Lt. Col. Tamara Parker said the charges against Morlock involve three separate events alleged to have occurred between January and May at or near Forward Operating Base Ramrod in Afghanistan. She said she had no further details on the victims or circumstances.
Parker said other soldiers were being investigated but she could only discuss Morlock since he is the only one to have returned to the Washington state base.
Parker said she did not know whether Morlock was represented by a lawyer yet.
The maximum penalty for conviction for premeditated murder would be life in prison or the death penalty, Parker said. Army prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.
About 10 members of an Army unit based at Fort Lewis have been under investigation for as many as three civilian deaths in Afghanistan, along with other potential wrongdoing, a senior military official said last month.
The official did not have details of the investigation but confirmed that the 5th Stryker Brigade was under scrutiny.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of an investigation being conducted in Afghanistan.
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