State News

Witness: Paratrooper tired of lying to cover up medic's death

Posted December 15, 2010

— A hearing similar to a grand jury proceeding was held Wednesday for a Fort Bragg soldier charged with making false statements about the death of an Army medic in Iraq.

Spc. Tyler Cain, 21, is charged with obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements in connection with the death of Spc. Morganne McBeth.

McBeth, 19, of Fredericksburg, Va., died July 2 in Al Asad, Iraq, of injuries sustained a day earlier in a non-combat-related incident in Khan Al Baghdadi, Iraq, according to a military statement issued at the time of her death.

The Army initially investigated the death as an accident, but a spokesman for the Army's Criminal Investigative Command said last month that investigators were treating the case as a homicide because they didn't believe the statements they were given.

Spc. Nicholas Bailey of Pflugerville, Texas, was charged two weeks ago with involuntary manslaughter and obstruction of justice in the case.

Prosecutors said Cain told Army investigators in three statements that Bailey had stabbed a poster on a wall with his knife and that he had to use a lot of force to get it out of the wall. When the knife finally broke free, it struck McBeth, who had just walked behind him, according to his statements.

In a fourth statement, Cain changed his story, saying Bailey had been wildly flailing the knife around and struck the wall and then accidentally stabbed McBeth when he turned around, according to prosecutors.

The investigator who took that last statement from Cain and gave him two polygraph tests was called to testify Wednesday during the Article 32 hearing in a military court at Fort Bragg.

He said Cain told him he didn't want to lie and get into anymore trouble.

Bailey's Article 32 hearing is scheduled for Jan. 4.

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  • smalldogsrule Dec 16, 2010

    When I was in the military, the first thing that I was taught was to look after my fellow soldier so that if we ever went into combat we knew that the man in the next foxhole would be covering your back.

    Too bad we all couldn't have served in the fantasy world you did. I have reviewed many a homicide investigation where soldiers killed other soldiers. I believe "Fragging" describes what happens when murder is committed in combat situations. It happens. Like Worland said, our military is a cross section of our society, that's why we have soldiers that rob, cheat, steal use drugs, and yes, commit murder.

  • airbornemonty Dec 15, 2010

    You can not compare civilians to soldiers! Soldiers are supposed to protect other soldiers.

    When I was in the military, the first thing that I was taught was to look after my fellow soldier so that if we ever went into combat we knew that the man in the next foxhole would be covering your back.

    I still believe the military has the same standards that we had when I was in.

  • Worland Dec 15, 2010

    C'mon. Soldiers are a cross section of society. Civilians kill each other. Troops kill each other. Always has been. Always will be.

  • airbornemonty Dec 15, 2010

    It is a sad day when soldiers murder other soldiers. How in the world can they protect this country when they can not protect themselves.

    I keep asking myself, have we stayed in the middle east too long and have our soldiers become too complacent with a "I don't give a d..." attitude to properly accomplish the mission.