Local News

Bragg soldier pleads guilty to killing pregnant comrade

Posted November 3, 2010

— A Fort Bragg soldier was sentenced Tuesday to at least 16 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to killing a pregnant comrade more than two years ago.

Sgt. Edgar Patino, 29, of Hope Mills, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Spc. Megan Touma. He had originally been charged with first-degree murder in the case.

The body of Touma, 23, was found June 21, 2008, in a room at the Fairfield Inn near Cross Creek Mall. Investigators said they believe she was killed seven to eight days earlier.

An autopsy determined Touma died of asphyxiation. She had bruising on her neck and was found submerged in a bathtub.

Touma was seven months pregnant at the time of her death, and Patino was the father of her unborn child, police said.

She was one of three female Fort Bragg soldiers killed in the summer of 2008, and the unrelated cases attracted national attention because husbands or boyfriends were charged in each.

The remains of 2nd Lt. Holley Wimunc were found in Onslow County three days after a fire was set in her Fayetteville apartment in July 2008. Her Marine husband and a fellow Marine were convicted in the case.

Sgt. Christina Smith was killed while walking near her home in September 2008. Charges are pending against her husband and another man, both on whom are soldiers.


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  • danunger Nov 5, 2010

    So he got 16 years for taking 2 lives. Once again our justice system has failed miserably, or was it just 2 shyster lawyers that wanted to take the cash the easy way and plead it out? Either way, it sends a message that a life is worth 8 years. Bad boys.....make sure you don't involve my family in your crimes....my justice system is not as forgiving as the one we have now.

  • bailey109 Nov 4, 2010

    Killing his own flesh and blood? Wow.

  • grab-a-gift.com Nov 4, 2010

    what in the world 2nd degree murder? he killed two people premeditated and get 2nd degree.what jury and judge did he have? he got off way to easy. at-least life without parole.come on

  • rebecca7 Nov 4, 2010

    I agree... he got off way to easy! You can get more time selling drugs than murdering someone! And why not charge him with DOUBLE homicide?? He also killed that innocent baby! 16 years? Disgusting.

  • bmg379 Nov 4, 2010

    only 16 years,they should make an example out of this guy

  • 5104faircrest Nov 4, 2010

    Thats all he got? Seems a little too lenient. I would expect more, like a military court martial and dishonorable discharge etc.

  • 2boys1girl Nov 4, 2010

    This is a prime example of why there are so many murders out today because their isn't harsh enough punishment. Especially for those who admit murder, there should be no plea bargains at all. Worry about these kinds of people instead of the ones smoking a little pot here and there.

  • Timetogo Nov 4, 2010

    ONLY 16 years?? Why not life? What deals were made to give him such a small punishment? This is so wrong!

  • moth Nov 4, 2010

    Thats all he gets for a double murder. I have to support this cretin with my taxes for the next 16 years and then he goes free. Disgusting. Shame on the judge and the DA.

  • JAT Nov 4, 2010

    It should have been 1st degree murder but I guess the DA got what it could get.