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October 6, 2013 at 4:45pm

Update: Spc. Tevin A. Geike of JBLM died from stab wounds

This in from 7th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office:

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - On Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, Spc. Tevin A. Geike, died from wounds suffered during an altercation while with friends in Lakewood, Wash. The incident is currently under investigation by the Lakewood Police Department.
 
Geike, of Summerville, SC, was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-158th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division.
 
According to unit records, Spc. Geike entered the Army in October 2010 and reported to Fort Jackson, SC, for Army Basic Training. Following graduation, he reported to Fort Rucker, Ala., for Advanced Individual Training in the Military Occupational Specialty 15P (Aviation Operations Specialist). Upon graduation from AIT, Geike arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in April 2011. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4-6th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 16th CAB, as an aviation operations specialist. In October 2011, he was reassigned to the 2-158th AHB.
 
Spc. Geike's civilian and military education includes a high school diploma (2010) and Military Occupational Specialty 15P: Aviation Operations Specialist (2010).
 
His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Aviation Badge.

UPDATE: Reuters reports race not a factor in Geike's stabbing.

UPDATE TWO: The office of Pierce County Prosecuotr Mark Lindquist has released a statement regarding the three men charged with murdering Spc. Tevin A. Geike. The release is posted below:

Today, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Jeremiah Hill, 23, with MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE in the stabbing death of Tevin Geike, 20. Cedarium Johnson, 21, and Ajoni Runnion-Bareford, 21, were charged with RENDERING CRIMINAL ASSISTANCE for tampering with evidence. The victim and defendants are all active duty soldiers stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

"This was a senseless and sad murder where a soldier killed a fellow soldier for no reason," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Specialist Geike. He served our country honorably, and it breaks our hearts to see him lose his life in a cowardly street stabbing."

On October 5th, 2013, at approximately 2:30am, Geike and two fellow soldiers were walking in the 12500 block of Pacific Ave SW after leaving a gathering at a nearby motel. According to a witness, the car passed by the three friends and someone from the vehicle made an unspecified racial slur towards the men on foot. Witnesses could not recall what was actually said. The victim and his friends responded that they were combat veterans. The vehicle pulled over, and four of the five men got out and approached Geike and his friends. Once it was established that all parties were active duty soldiers, the occupants of the vehicle began to walk back to the car. It appeared the confrontation had defused. Defendant Hill grabbed the victim, put him in a "bear hug" hold, and stabbed him twice. Hill got back into the car, and the vehicle and its occupants left the scene.

Hill was covered in blood and told the car's occupants that he "cut" the victim. Defendant Johnson ordered the car's driver to proceed to Tillicum, where he then told Defendant Runnion-Bareford to throw the knife into the roadside brush. The vehicle belonged to Runnion-Bareford, so when the suspects returned to JBLM, Runnion-Bareford attempted to clean the blood from his vehicle, and parked it several blocks from his barracks to avoid detection. Over the weekend, Hill requested assistance from an Army medic to treat a cut on his hand. Hill told the medic that he suffered the cut to his hand when he "stabbed someone to death." Investigators recovered bloody clothing from Hill's and Johnson's rooms and also recovered the knife from a roadside in Tillicum.

The two suspects who spoke to investigators said race was not a motivating factor in the assault, and the victim's friends said that the initial slur was the only race-related language used. The other two occupants in the vehicle were fully-cooperative and detectives do not believe they participated in the stabbing or tampered with evidence. They will not be charged.

An autopsy showed that Geike suffered a superficial stab wound to his right side, followed by a deep stab wound to the front of his chest, which struck his heart.

The defendants were arraigned today at 1:30pm in Courtroom 270 of the County-City Building in Tacoma. The three plead "not guilty." Bail was set at $2 million for Hill and $250,000 for Runnion-Bareford. Johnson was released to Joint Base Lewis McChord. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 

July 10, 2013 at 3:54pm

Jig is up Military Mistress!

This bit of good news just in from the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office:

TACOMA, WA - Today the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office arraigned Bobbi Ann Finley, 37, on charges of Theft in the Second Degree. Nicknamed the "military mistress," Finley is alleged to have been married at least 14 times and drained bank accounts of numerous military service personnel in 14 states.
 
"Ms. Finley has been a prolific and remorseless con artist," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, "but now the jig is up."

Read more...

Filed under: Crime,

June 1, 2012 at 11:42am

Army amends, adds charges against Bales

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Today the United States Army preferred amended and additional charges against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the Soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in March.   

The charges allege Staff Sgt. Bales violated the following provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice:

  • Article 118- sixteen specifications of premeditated murder
  • Article 80- six specifications of attempted premeditated murder
  • Article 128- seven specifications of assault
  • Article 112a- two specifications of wrongfully possessing and using a Schedule III controlled substance (steroids)
  • Article 92- one specification of wrongfully consuming alcohol while deployed

The amended charges, which include reducing the number of premeditated murder victims from 17 to 16, conform to developments in the ongoing investigation surrounding Staff Sgt. Bales' alleged crimes on March 11, 2012.

Bales is currently in pretrial confinement at the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Filed under: Afghanistan, Crime, News To Us,

April 23, 2011 at 5:47am

‘Bath Salts’ Drug May Have Had Role In JBLM Soldier's Murders, Suicide

The new designer "bath salts" drug may have played a role in the murders and suicide of a Fort Lewis soldier and his family.

The Thurston County Coroner said on Thursday he ordered tests investigating whether the drug was a factor in the deaths of David Stewart, his wife and their 5-year-old son.

Two weeks ago, Stewart shot and killed his wife and then turned a gun himself during a police pursuit on Interstate 5 near Tumwater.

Their son was found dead inside their Spanaway home. The Medical Examiner said he had been suffocated.

    

SEE ENTIRE STORY FROM KIRO HERE

Filed under: Crime,

April 4, 2011 at 1:45pm

JBLM Soldier arrested on suspicion of assault

This from The News Tribune: A soldier who has just returned from a tour overseas fired a gun during an argument with his wife and has locked himself inside his home with his 2-year-old old child while refusing to speak to authorities, Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said Sunday night.

The SWAT team was called to the home at 130th Street and Meridian Avenue just outside Puyallup about 8:30 p.m.

The wife safely escaped the home.

"He's inside his residence armed, refusing to talk to us or come out," Troyer said.

The soldier was later arrested on suspicion of assault after a tip led the SWAT team to a home in the 7600 block of 35th Street West in University Place, Troyer said.

Filed under: Army News, Crime, Puyallup,

February 14, 2011 at 6:49am

Spc. Barrett deeply affected by Afghan loses, report states

From the Associated Press:

An Army investigation has found that a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who was killed when he opened fire on police in Utah last year was deeply affected by his deployment to Afghanistan.

Spc. Brandon Barrett deserted his unit, suffered an apparent mental breakdown and died in a shootout with Salt Lake City police on Aug. 27. A police officer was wounded.

See the rest of the story here.

Filed under: Crime,

February 1, 2011 at 1:19pm

Spy planted among Washington anti-war groups?

This from KING-5 TV: JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Did the U.S. military break federal laws by planting an undercover spy among Western Washington anti-war groups? Did local law enforcement accept the volunteer undercover efforts of somebody who just happened to be a civilian employee working in Force Protection at Joint Base Lewis McChord?

Those are two big questions that you may hear asked more often and more loudly in the future as public information requests turn up documents about what that undercover operative reported.
 
Timothy Smith, Chairman of the Tacoma chapter of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, has obtained documentation from the Tacoma Police Department about the activities of John Towery, the undercover plant who was working under the supervision of a Pierce County Sheriff's detective. Those documents show Towery spent several years infiltrating a variety of local anti-war and anarchist groups, focusing mostly on efforts to prevent U.S. military equipment and convoys from moving through ports in Washington, often Olympia and Aberdeen.

Smith says the fact that he has received the detailed information about the undercover operation shows that personal information about protestors, information about individual relationships and the relationships between various anti-war and anti-government groups has been kept and shared by law enforcement agencies.  

To read more, click here

Filed under: Crime, Defense News, Tacoma,

February 1, 2011 at 10:18am

Army to prosecute JBLM soldier for Afghan murder

This from The News Tribune: The Army announced today that it will prosecute the fifth and final member of a group of Stryker soldiers who allegedly murdered Afghan civilians during patrols last year despite a review that cited weaknesses in the case against the soldier.

The announcement is a setback to Spc. Michael Wagnon, 30, whose family had hoped that the Army would dismiss charges against him after an investigating officer reviewed the case in November and reported that there was little evidence against him.

That report went to Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the senior general at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, who determined the Army has evidence to proceed with a court-martial against Wagnon.

Wagnon will face a court-martial on charges that he murdered an Afghan civilian during a February patrol, shot at unarmed Afghans in March and participated in conspiracies to harm Afghans. He could be sentenced to life in prison if he's convicted.

The Army dismissed two charges from Wagnon's case. One alleged that he kept a piece of skull from an Afghan corpse; the other accused him of trying to obstruct the Army's investigation into his platoon's misconduct by destroying images of Afghan casualties on his computer.

His attorney debunked both of those charges at an Article 32 hearing in November. Wagnon's platoon mates said the skull fragment he kept came from a camel, not a person.

For more on the story, click here.

January 13, 2011 at 4:14pm

Army doctor pleads guilty to graft

This from The News Tribune: A Madigan Army Medical Center cardiologist pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally accepting funds from a medical-equipment manufacturer that wanted to do business with the hospital on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle reported.

Maj. Jason Layne Davis, 38, faces up to a year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine when sentenced in April.

Davis accepted about $4,800 in cash, meals and gratuities from Guidant Sales Corp, a sudsidiary of Boston Scientific, between January 2006 and February 2009, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

He worked as the chief of Madigan's cardiology department during part of that time and almost exclusively used Boston Scientific's pacemakers and implantable defibrillators in his practice, according to prosecutors.

Last fall, Guidant Sales paid $600,000 to the U.S. government to settle claims it provided illegal payments to Davis to influence him to use the company's devices and recommend that others do the same.

"Military doctors must owe their allegiance to the soldiers and families they treat - not to drug companies or makers of medical devices," U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said. "That is why we have a bright line rule: doctors employed by the government cannot accept payments or gratuities from an outside source, especially one that is seeking government business."

Filed under: Army News, Crime, News To Us,

January 6, 2011 at 10:55am

Stryker soldier discharged for misconduct

This from The News Tribune: Spc. Emmitt Quintal, 22, was given a bad-conduct discharge at a court-martial Wednesday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

He also must do hard labor for 90 days and take a demotion to private for frequently using drugs during his combat deployment, joining an assault on a comrade and keeping digital photos of Afghan casualties.

He pleaded guilty to those three offenses, as well as a conspiracy charge related to the assault.

"I have put discredit not only on myself and my family, but also on the uniform I wear every day," Quintal said in the courtroom.

It could have been worse for the soldier from Weston, Ore. He negotiated a pre-trial agreement that capped his punishment and required him to testify at hearings for his codefendants in an Army war crimes investigation.

To read the complete story, click here.

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