Fort Stewart Soldier Found Guilty of Double Murder
A military court Spc. Neftaly Platero guilty of killing two fellow service members and gravely injuring a third.
A military court late on Tuesday found a Fort Stewart soldier guilty of killing two fellow servicemen and gravely wounding a third, the Associated Press reports.
A five-member panel deliberated for about 90 minutes before finding Spc. Neftaly Platero guilty of two counts of premeditated murder and one count of attempted premeditated murder.
Prosecutors maintained that Platero shot Pfc. Gebrah Noonan, Spc. John Carillo Jr. and Spc. Jeffrey Shonk in September of 2010 in the room they shared in Fallujah, Iraq. Noonan and Carillo died at the scene, while Shonk survived a bullet crease to the skull.
Defense attorney Guy Womack argued that there was little physical evidence linking Platero to the crime. Army investigators failed to find gunshot residue on skin samples taken from Platero, or identify his fingerprints on the gun used in the attack or any of the shell casings recovered from the scene. Shonk testified that he could not remember the attack.
The sentencing phase of the case is scheduled to begin Wednesday, the AP reported. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty, and the conviction carries an automatic life sentence, but the panel must decide whether Platero should ever be eligible for parole.
Read more about the Platero case:
- Fort Stewart Soldier Arraigned on Murder Charges
- Family of Murder Victim Questions Military Prosecutor's Competence
- Soldier Who Survived September 2010 Shootings Says He Can't Remember Attack
- Pretrial Hearing Held in Platero Case
- Prosecution Presents Evidence in Platero Case
- Defense Cites Lack of Evidence in Platero Case