The Army’s “kill team” investigation at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is in its home stretch, and attorneys on both sides are calculating whom they can count on to give believable testimony at some of the most watched war crimes courts-martial since Abu Ghraib.
Prosecutors are working with a consultant to help evaluate witnesses for the court-martial of alleged murderer Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs. Defense attorneys are crowing over a string of reports that challenge the credibility of killer-turned-star witness Pvt. Jeremy Morlock, even as they prepare for testimony from Spc. Adam Winfield, the latest defendant to take a plea agreement.
In the balance are three soldiers who could go to prison for life without parole if convicted of murdering Afghan civilians for kicks. Another soldier faces more than 20 years in prison on charges that he beat up detainees and solicited a subordinate to murder an Afghan.
Three of the accused soldiers have been in confinement for more than a year since the investigation started in May 2010 in southern Afghanistan. Other soldiers from the platoon in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division have their lives on hold because the Army has ordered them to remain available for court hearings.
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