December 1st, 2010
01:38 PM ET

Soldier accused of misconduct in Afghanistan pleads guilty

The first of seven Army soldiers to face court-martial in connection with the deaths of Afghan citizens pleaded guilty Wednesday to four of five charges.

Attorneys for Staff Sgt. Robert Stevens entered guilty pleas on his behalf at his court-martial at Fort Lewis-McChord, Washington, on charges of serious misconduct in Afghanistan.

He pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about being fired on and having a grenade thrown at his Stryker vehicle. He also admitted to shooting "in the direction of" two Afghan males, throwing a grenade from his vehicle while there was no threat to him or other soldiers, and not disposing of the grenade properly.

He pleaded not guilty to conspiring to commit aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon on three Afghan males.

Before issuing a verdict, the investigating officer in the case will hear
testimony from Stevens and nine witnesses scheduled to testify.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Justice • War
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. texas

    Reading all the comments makes me think if a couple of sayings in the military – A bad day in the USA is better than any good day overseas. And. Rather be tried by twelve than carried by six. Speak from experience.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. michele

    First off please spell my name with one l not too. i get irked about that for some reason and dont know why. i know my country failed to protect our people there is nothing i can do. yes i believe that n korea should be stopped along with anyone else that wants to harm us and if the military would have taken me i would be over there as well. so since they wont i go to work and come home to my child and boyfriend every day. i dont know if you know what its like to watch the news every day woundering if your friends will be on the news yet and having crying mothers call you up when it is their child cause your long time buddy will be coming home to a grave. its the worst feeling in the world. so you ask me if its fair to bomb the country and i say this to you "all is fair in the game of war"

    December 2, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    @Michelle: ok Michelle, one l Michele. @Fear, they aren't going to jail.

    December 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Anna C.

    Stories like these are so hard to read, and even harder to come to terms with and agree upon (as seen in this one heated discussion alone). I was always very one-sided about such things, but I've been trying to learn more from other angles. The book "Purple Heart" by Patricia McCormick was amazingly balanced and respectful. It's about a young male soldier in Iraq trying to come to terms with wounds, death, and who is guilty / innocent. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a fair and honest account of solider vs. civilian life.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. 47 SI

    First, let me begin with the fact that there are laws in war and rules of engagement. These men broke those rules and will be dealt with for there crimes. He is also a leader and that makes him accountable for the crimes of the soldiers under his charge. Regardless of his age he has been trained and knows the laws and rules he has sworn to defend. This has been drilled into him at every level of his military education. He attended Basic Training, Warrior Leaders (Primary Leadership) and Basic Noncommissioned Officers courses. Additionally, pre-deployment courses, annual classes and in-country briefings reinforce these principals. Unlike in civilian life we police our own and these men will be harshly dealt with.

    December 12, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
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