The Army Blotter: Pfc. Bonnie and Clyde busted, haunted killer convicted, and a medic murder mystery


Keeping it real went wrong for a Fort Carson, Colo., civilian resident now charged with shooting workers at a Burger King on post and a Cricket in town during two robberies. Joshua Bodean Smith, 20, reportedly told the clerk at the Cricket, “I ain’t playin’,” before shooting him in the shoulder and emptying the cash register. He faces federal charges and up to 30 years in jail. The Army was holding Smith’s girlfriend, identified as Pfc. Bianca M. Soto, who federal authorities say acted as Smith’s getaway driver. [via Colorado Springs Gazette]

  • A Colorado jury convicted former soldier Marcus Hightower, accused in the 2007 stabbing death of his 21-year-old ex-girlfriend. Police said Hightower stalked her for six months before she was found dead in her bathroom with 60 stab wounds and several gunshot wounds. The jury discounted Hightower’s insanity defense. His lawyer said Hightower wrote in a journal about being attacked by demons and now feels remorse. [via KUSA-TV and The Denver Post]
  • The Army confirmed they are investigating the death of a Fort Bragg, N.C., combat medic as a homicide, reversing an initial ruling that her death was accidental. Spc. Morganne M. McBeth, 19, of Fredericksburg, Va., died July 2 in Al Asad, Iraq. McBeth was a with 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. The brigade deployed to Iraq in August 2009. [via WRAL-TV]

  • The investigating officer in the mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, has recommended Maj. Nidal Hasan stand trial and face the death penalty. [via Associated Press/Yahoo! News and Los Angeles Times]
  • Alabama jurors are deliberating in the trial of a 26-year-old homeless, mentally unstable Iraq veteran Courtney Lockhart, charged with the kidnapping, robbery and murder of Auburn freshman Lauren Burk. The defense, which pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, argued Lockhart’s gun fired accidentally. The defense attorney pointed to an ex-girlfriend’s testimony that Lockhart returned from Iraq changed. [via Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
  • A Texas state legislator wants to establish the Texas Innocence Commission in recognition of Tim Cole, a Texan and an Army veteran, who served 13 years of a sentence for a rape based upon a falsified eyewitness identification. Cole died in prison years before another man confessed to the crime. [via San Antonio Express-News (sorry, no link available)]
  • A defense attorney in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord “rogue platoon” case argued the three soldiers who allegedly conspired to kill an unarmed Afghan civilian never hit their intended mark. Daniel Conway, an attorney representing Pfc. Andrew Holmes, one of the three soldiers charged with the Jan. 15 slaying, made the argument at Holmes’ Article 32 hearing. [via Seattle Times]
  • A federal appeals court will decide whether Colorado has the authority to set a deadline for destroying chemical weapons stored at an Army facility outside Pueblo. Colorado says the Army needs to come up with a compliance schedule to meet the 2017 deadline set by Congress to dispose of mustard agent stored at the Pueblo Chemical Depot. The Army says Colorado doesn’t have authority to force a deadline. It says the munitions will be destroyed by 2021. [via Associated Press/KKTV-TV]

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