2 Schofield soldiers face hearing on death
Separate preliminary hearings will be held this month in a Wheeler Army Airfield courtroom for two Schofield Barracks soldiers charged with killing a civilian in Iraq in June.
Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales of San Antonio and Spc. Christopher Shore of Winder, Ga., were charged July 17 with killing an Iraqi while on a combat mission near Kirkuk on June 25.
Shore will face his Article 32 hearing, a military equivalent to a preliminary hearing, on Oct. 18.
Corrales' hearing will be held on Oct. 22.
The two soldiers could have faced the death penalty. However, the Army is now seeking a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, an Army spokeswoman said yesterday.
The two soldiers are assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Following the shooting, Lt. Col. Michael Browder was relieved as commander of the 2nd Battalion and replaced by Lt. Col. Samuel Whitehurst. Browder is not a suspect in the case and was relieved because the Army lacked confidence in his ability to command, said Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, 25th Division spokesman.
Both Corrales, 34, and Shore, 24, have hired civilian attorneys in addition to their military lawyers.
The brigade is completing nearly 15 months of combat duty in Iraq, and all of its soldiers are expected back at Schofield Barracks by the end of the month.
Shore's attorney has said that his client did not shoot the civilian as he was ordered to do by Corrales. Instead, Shore fired his M-4 carbine twice and purposely missed, said attorney Michael Waddington.
Waddington said Shore was one of four soldiers who reported the shooting.
Lily Corrales, Trey Corrales' wife, declined to discuss the case. "It will all come out at the hearing," she said.
She said her husband is ready to leave Iraq. "He's looking forward to coming home," she added.
The decision whether to hold courts-martial will be made by Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, who commands the 25th Infantry Division, based on the recommendation of the officer presiding over the preliminary hearings.
Some of the 14 soldiers killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash on Aug. 22 were supposed to have been called as witnesses.
Donnelly has said the Army does not plan to release the names of the witnesses or provide information on what they saw. "None of the soldiers were in any way implicated in any misconduct related to the alleged murder of the Iraqi," Donnelly said.
The two accused soldiers had been airlifted by helicopters on the night of the alleged murder to al Shaheed near Kirkuk to clear houses where terrorists were hiding.
There were soldiers already searching the house, Waddington said, when Shore's platoon arrived. As the suspected terrorists were being tested for explosives, one of them ran out of the house.
Shore was inside the house, Waddington said, and went outside and found Corrales standing before a bleeding suspect.
At that point, Waddington said, Corrales ordered Shore to "finish him off."