Family, friends rally around accused Stryker soldiers

The Idaho StatesmanSeptember 10, 2010 

More than 30 family and friends gathered Thursday in Boise to speak out for Pfc. Andrew Holmes — though they say they abhor the things Army investigators say were done in Afghanistan.

Dana Holmes, the mother of the 20-year-old soldier who has been charged with murdering an Afghan man, said her son is innocent of the charges and has been denied representation by an attorney while he's been in jail.

She said while still in Afghanistan, his superior officers threatened to hurt him and his family.

She said one of the officers above him has confessed to the crimes and exonerated her son, but that videotaped interview is not being released to the public.

"It's hard to see your son hopeless and helpless," she said.

Maj. Kathy Turner, a spokesman for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said she could not comment on an ongoing investigation. More evidence likely will come out at preliminary military hearings.

The rally came the day after new details in Army charge sheets painted a picture of depravity, deceit and savage internal discipline involving at least 12 Stryker soldiers from Washington's Joint Base Lewis-McChord during their recent deployment to Afghanistan.

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