Local News

14 Fort Bragg soldiers arrested this year in death cases

Posted December 9, 2008 4:36 p.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2008 9:08 p.m. EST

— In 2008, authorities have arrested 14 Fort Bragg soldiers in deaths or in murder-for-hire cases, brining the question of whether there is a link between deployments and violence at home. One Army psychologist says not necessarily.

Many of the soldiers charged in 2008 had deployed at least once. However, Col. Ed Crandell, a psychologist at Womack Army Medical Center, says that didn't mean they'd become violent once they're home.

“I think that’s an important discrimination to make – between someone who premeditates and goes out and kills someone and someone who’s operating in a combat environment and using the skills that he’s developed,” Crandell said.

In recent years, the Army has put a myriad of programs in place to help soldiers re-adjust after combat duty, according to Fort Bragg officials.

Statistically, multiple deployments have not caused a spike in violence among soldiers, according to Crandell.

“Are we seeing an increase in suicides? Yes. Is that higher than it should be? Yes. In terms of violence, there’s nothing pointing to that, that I’m aware of, that suggests it’s any higher,” Crandell said.

The 14 soldiers charged in 2008 with causing deaths or in murder-for-hire cases were:

  • Sgts. Christopher Mignocchi, Kyle G. Saltz and Justin A. Boyle; Spcs. Ryan Sullivan, Joseph A. Misuraca and Charles B. DeLong; and Pfc. Andrey Udalov. Authorities charged them with involuntary manslaughter on Monday in the death of an Army private whose body was found in a car at Fort Bragg.
  • Kyle Nye Davis was charged with choking his estranged wife. He was also accused of plotting in his jail cell to have her killed.
  • Sgt. Richard Smith and Pfc. Matthew Kvapil were accused of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Smith’s wife, Sgt. Christina Smith.
  • Sgt. Edgar Patino was accused of killing a fellow soldier, Spc. Megan Touma, who was the mother of his unborn child.
  • Chief Warrant Officer James Dunn was charged with involuntary manslaughter after his wife died in a car crash. Authorities estimate Dunn was driving 100 mph when the crash happened.
  • Ronald Lon Petersen was charged with deliberate homicide in the shooting death of Clyde Wilson in Ferndale, Mont.
  • Elihue P. Schofield was arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in a Food Lion parking lot.