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14 Fort Bragg soldiers arrested this year in death cases

Posted December 9, 2008

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— In 2008, authorities have arrested 14 Fort Bragg soldiers in deaths or in murder-for-hire cases, brining the question of whether there is a link between deployments and violence at home. One Army psychologist says not necessarily.

Many of the soldiers charged in 2008 had deployed at least once. However, Col. Ed Crandell, a psychologist at Womack Army Medical Center, says that didn't mean they'd become violent once they're home.

“I think that’s an important discrimination to make – between someone who premeditates and goes out and kills someone and someone who’s operating in a combat environment and using the skills that he’s developed,” Crandell said.

In recent years, the Army has put a myriad of programs in place to help soldiers re-adjust after combat duty, according to Fort Bragg officials.

Statistically, multiple deployments have not caused a spike in violence among soldiers, according to Crandell.

“Are we seeing an increase in suicides? Yes. Is that higher than it should be? Yes. In terms of violence, there’s nothing pointing to that, that I’m aware of, that suggests it’s any higher,” Crandell said.

The 14 soldiers charged in 2008 with causing deaths or in murder-for-hire cases were:

  • Sgts. Christopher Mignocchi, Kyle G. Saltz and Justin A. Boyle; Spcs. Ryan Sullivan, Joseph A. Misuraca and Charles B. DeLong; and Pfc. Andrey Udalov. Authorities charged them with involuntary manslaughter on Monday in the death of an Army private whose body was found in a car at Fort Bragg.
  • Kyle Nye Davis was charged with choking his estranged wife. He was also accused of plotting in his jail cell to have her killed.
  • Sgt. Richard Smith and Pfc. Matthew Kvapil were accused of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Smith’s wife, Sgt. Christina Smith.
  • Sgt. Edgar Patino was accused of killing a fellow soldier, Spc. Megan Touma, who was the mother of his unborn child.
  • Chief Warrant Officer James Dunn was charged with involuntary manslaughter after his wife died in a car crash. Authorities estimate Dunn was driving 100 mph when the crash happened.
  • Ronald Lon Petersen was charged with deliberate homicide in the shooting death of Clyde Wilson in Ferndale, Mont.
  • Elihue P. Schofield was arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in a Food Lion parking lot.

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  • sayitoutloud Dec 10, 2008

    If I recall correctly the female soldier that was killed in the hotel room that was pregnant was murdered by her fellow soldier that impregnated her and HE was MARRIED. Now what was the cause of that? It wasnt b/c she was out skirtin around. HE was the one that was married.
    So Snugglebunny; stop haten on the spouses of deployed soldiers. Majority of us are faithful to our soldiers and take care of everything while they are gone. We put our lives on hold waiting for a phone call or a letter to come. We also know that when we married our soldiers that we knew what we were getting into. So keep your none sence comments to your self.

  • Myra Dec 9, 2008

    For decades Fort Bragg has regurgitated the same tired old claim that they have put programs into place to help soldiers. Well decades later, their programs are NOT working.

    Ft Bragg Psychologist Colonel Crandell said: "I think that's an important discrimination to make - between someone who premeditates and goes out and kills someone and someone who's operating in a combat environmnet and using the skills that he's developed." So! Killing is both a ''skill'' in combat and a crime in noncombat? Gasp!

    The subject of mysterious and "unexplained deaths" on Fort Bragg was not included in the homefront body count. Also excluded were violence against children.

    Crandell said suicides are increasing and higher that they should be. I wonder just how many suicides should there be to make it okie dokie on Fort Bragg?

  • ernestclark Dec 9, 2008

    What has really conerned me is why there have been so many "Husbands killings wives" in the state over the last few years. Military or civilian? What is up with these guys that they think they can get away with it? Is it something in the water?

  • affirmativediversity Dec 9, 2008

    Geesh snugglebunny, you don't think much of military spouses, do you?

    I wonder if anyone has ever study comparing the percentage of infidelity amoungst military spouses and other population demographics, such as law enforcement, doctors, lawyers, social workers or teachers.

  • 1simplegirl Dec 9, 2008

    So snugglebunny, what excuse do you have for the men that cheat then kill because they are "scared"?

  • WRAL is joe_dirt Dec 9, 2008

    Because a soldier has been deployed is not a valid reason for murder, it's a feeble excuse. I was deployed and the only ones I can think of committing violent acts against are the commanders that used their service as a stepping stone to get rank and FELT NO OBLIGATION TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR TROOPS.

  • FireFaerie88 aka snugglebunny Dec 9, 2008

    I think the increase in the killings against women has alot to do with the increase of adultery. The simple fact that when these guys deploy overseas, all they can think about is how much they miss their family and can't wait to come home. When they finally do come home and find out their wife has been sleeping with everything that moves, thats enough to make a person of ANY profession do something crazy.