September 8, 2010 in Region

Army: Fort Lewis-based sergeant kept body parts

Five soldiers charged in deaths of Afghan civilians
Associated Press

SEATTLE — New documents released by the Army say a staff sergeant charged in a conspiracy to murder civilians kept Afghan body parts and threatened his subordinates.

Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs is the most senior of five Fort Lewis-based Stryker soldiers charged in the deaths of three Afghan civilians earlier this year. His lawyer says he denies being part of any conspiracy and that the deaths were all “appropriate engagements.”

In charging papers released today, prosecutors say that in addition to the civilian killings, Gibbs and others in his platoon beat up a soldier who had reported drug use in the unit, said they’d kill him if he kept talking about it, and threatened him by showing him fingers that had been cut from an Afghan corpse.

Hearings in the case are expected to begin this fall.

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