Local News

Fort Bragg soldiers face murder charges in teen's death

Posted August 19, 2011 11:25 a.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2011 1:49 p.m. EDT

— Two Fort Bragg soldiers accused of first-degree murder made their first court appearance in Harnett County Friday, a day after they were charged with killing a Spring Lake teenager and dumping his body.

Pvt. Sebastian Gamez and Spc. Christopher Blackett, both 20, were arrested Thursday evening after authorities found Vincent Carlisle Jr., 17, in some woods north of Spring Lake on Thursday.

Gamez , 20, of Hidalgo, Texas, and Blackett, 20, of Vista, Calif., joined the Army in 2009 and are motor transport operators in the 82nd Airborne Division. Neither has deployed overseas.

Both live at 102 Carmichael Lane in Spring Lake and were neighbors with Carlisle, who lived with his grandmother and parents.

Authorities haven't said what led them to the two soldiers, how Carlisle might have died, or what a possible motive might have been. More details could come Monday, when results of a preliminary autopsy are released.

Carlisle's grandmother, Theodosia Carlisle, said she knew that her grandson sometimes played basketball with Gamez and Blackett, but she wasn't aware of how well they might have known each other.

Vincent Carlisle left home Sunday around 10 p.m., she said, and never returned. Harnett County and Cumberland County deputies found his body off Shady Grove Road in Harnett County.

"I'm very hurt, at this point. I don't want to say I'm angry, but I'm very, very hurt," Theodosia Carlisle said. "But I don't know how to put it into words. How do you cope with the fact that it was so close to us?"

Gamez and Blackett remained in the Harnett County jail Friday without bond after a brief appearance before a judge, who ordered they be appointed public defenders.

A probable cause hearing was also set for Sept. 6, when Theodosia Carlisle hopes she will get answers.

"We really just don't understand what happened," she said. "There are a lot of questions. We just don't have answers at this point."