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Case Moves Forward Against Solider Accused Of Killing Officers

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A New York National Guard soldier accused of killing two of his superior officers is one step closer to trial.

Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez had a hearing at Fort Bragg for the first time Monday where prosecutors convinced an investigating officer to move forward with a trial.

The officer investigating the case said that Martinez should stand trial for murder and some lesser charges, including having flares, alcohol and a privately-owned weapon and that he gave government printers to an Iraqi man.

The Iraqi man testified by phone that Martinez gave him 20 printers in exchange for a motorcycle that the Iraqi never provided.

The investigating officer will pass his recommendation through his chain of command. Ultimately Fort Bragg's top general, John Vines, will decide whether the case goes to trial.

Martinez is accused of using a mine and grenades to kill his company commander, Capt. Phillip Esposito, and his operations officer, Lt. Lewis Allen in June 2005 near Tikrit, Iraq.

Martinez is being held behind bars at another post that the military will not reveal.

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