Isle soldier will face court-martial in killing
A Schofield Barracks soldier will face a general court-martial on a charge of premeditated murder, communicating threats and obstruction of justice in the death of his former girlfriend last year.
Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division, decided yesterday that Spc. Jeffery White, 21, should face a general court-martial after reviewing an Article 32 report of the case.
The body of Spc. Felicia LaDuke, 22, was found at Mokuleia Beach on Oct. 8. LaDuke, of Warroad, Minn., died of strangulation, the city Medical Examiner's Office said.
No date has been set for the court-martial, which will be held at a Wheeler Army Airfield courthouse.
If convicted, White faces the maximum punishment of life in prison without parole, a dishonorable discharge, reduction in grade to private and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
Before his arrest, White allegedly told friends he killed LaDuke late on the night of Oct. 7 and then drove over her body with her car to make sure she was dead.
During the Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a preliminary hearing, officials said LaDuke had been seeking child support from White for their 20-month-old son, Elijah, when she was killed.
During the hearing, Spc. Marice Swain told government lawyers that he and White were stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, together in 2004. During that time, White first confided that he wanted to kill his ex-girlfriend LaDuke.
White is married and has another child with his wife, Angela.
LaDuke, a motor transport operator with the 25th Transportation Company, 524th Combat Support Battalion, returned from Iraq in March 2005, the same month White, a truck driver with Company A, 325th Support Battalion, returned from Afghanistan, the military said.
White is being held in the Navy brig on Ford Island pending trial. Last year, an Oahu grand jury indicted White of second-degree murder. However, in November, city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle turned the case over to the military.