FORT LEWIS, Wash. (AP) - Five soldiers from the same Washington state-based unit have nowbeen implicated in the killing of three Afghan civilians, an Armyspokeswoman said Monday.
The Army said Friday that Spc. Jeremy Morlock had been chargedwith three counts of premeditated murder and one count ofassault.
On Monday, Lt. Col. Tamara Parker, a Joint Base Lewis-McChordspokeswoman, said "there is enough evidence to say that five may becharged," although Morlock is the only one charged so far.
A second soldier is being held in confinement in Kuwait, and theothers three remain with their unit in Afghanistan, she said.
Like Morlock, 22, of Wasilla, Alaska, the others are assigned toB Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 5th StrykerBrigade Combat Team.
Morlock deployed in July 2009 with his unit in support ofOperation Enduring Freedom. He returned to the Washington statebase Thursday, was charged Friday and has been placed in pretrialconfinement.
The charges against Morlock involve three separate eventsalleged to have occurred between January and May at or near ForwardOperating Base Ramrod in Afghanistan, Parker said. She said she hadno further details on the victims or circumstances.
Parker said she could provide no additional information on theother four soldiers because they are not under Fort Lewisjurisdiction.
"Because they are from the same unit, we anticipate the othersmay return here but we don't know," she said.
A senior military official said last month that about 10 membersof an Army unit based at Fort Lewis have been under investigationfor as many as three civilian deaths in Afghanistan.
The official did not have details of the investigation butconfirmed that the 5th Stryker Brigade was under scrutiny.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was notauthorized to discuss details of an investigation being conductedin Afghanistan.
The maximum penalty for conviction for premeditated murder wouldbe life in prison or the death penalty, Parker said. Armyprosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penaltyin Morlock's case.
Parker said she has asked whether Morlock's Army trial defensecounsel wants to make a statement on Morlock's behalf but has notyet received a reply.
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