Local News

No death penalty sought in pregnant soldier's slaying

Posted January 6, 2010

— Cumberland County prosecutors said Tuesday that they won't seek the death penalty against a Fort Bragg soldier charged with killing a pregnant comrade in 2008.

The body of Spc. Megan 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.

Sgt. Edgar Patino, 28, of 374 Lairgate Lane in Hope Mills, has been charged with first-degree murder in her death. He is being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center without bond.

Touma was pregnant, and Patino was the father of her unborn child, police said.

An autopsy determined Touma died of asphyxiation. The cause of death was most likely asphyxiation either by strangulation or drowning, according to the autopsy report. She had bruising on her neck and was found submerged in a bathtub.


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  • dbcooper41 Jan 7, 2010

    i'm not in favor of the death penalty and this case is a good example of why. it is not applied evenly and fairly.
    but, IF we are going to have it, i can see no reason why this should not be a death penalty case.

  • Lead by Example Jan 7, 2010

    Bad decision on the D.A.'s part not to seek the death penalty.

  • Desiderata Jan 7, 2010

    He took not just one, but TWO lives..He doesn;t DESERVE to even BREATHE!

  • duvler Jan 7, 2010

    This is a total travesty, it was obviously pre-meditated and why should a man who kills his own child and the woman carrying it be free? It's disgusting.

  • raggy831 Jan 7, 2010

    I agree with faceman...go back to the 1800's. If you kill someone you die the next day not years later.

  • iron fist Jan 7, 2010

    ??????? WHY if this rodent killed this lady he should pay with his life

  • Adelinthe Jan 6, 2010

    WTHeck not!!!

    This guy should fry.

    Praying for those who REALLY loved this lovely woman.

    God bless.


  • gordonbabe Jan 6, 2010

    Don't you usually have to HAVE something to bargain with? They've got him, got his DNA... he's dead to rights. They'll probably plea him down so he'll plead guilty to a lesser offense; and we'll be paying for his rear until he's so old he can't wipe it anymore!

  • Faceman Jan 6, 2010

    In my view..I dont think a person should get Life in prison..They Killed someone..therefore..they should not be allowed to live themselves..sometimes i wish we were still back in the 1800's YOU KILL YOUR LIFE IS TERMINATED TO!! HANG EM>>HANG EM HIGH!!

  • Pulling for the Tarheels Jan 6, 2010

    Vietnam Vet - I agree with you!! Although, I'm sure there has been some plea bargaining to avoid that "death penalty". Too bad, as now, us taxpayers will have to again foot the bill until the "guilty person" dies of old age. And people wonder why our jails/prisons are so full....