Local News

Soldier wants statement kept out of court-martial

Posted December 7, 2010 11:50 a.m. EST
Updated December 7, 2010 4:06 p.m. EST

— An 82nd Airborne Division soldier who is accused of killing his brother-in-law on Fort Bragg on asked a military judge Tuesday to keep a statement he made to investigators out of his court-martial.

Spc. Eric A. Mead, 26, of Detroit, is charged with premeditated murder, attempted premeditated murder and violation of an order.

Mead's brother-in-law, Stephen Harris, was killed May 9 inside Mead's home in the Casablanca housing area on post, authorities said. Mead's wife was injured in the incident.

Authorities haven't disclosed how Harris was killed and his sister injured, nor have they released details of a possible motive.

The day before the slaying, Mead's unit commander ordered him to stay away from his wife because of previous verbal altercations, authorities said.

Mead was apprehended shortly after the incident at a Fort Bragg checkpoint.

Brian Harris, a special agent with the Army Criminal Investigative Command, said during Tuesday's court hearing that Mead told him that he heard a voice in his head and had been seeing a therapist for a few months.

Prosecutors showed video of an interview after the arrest in which Harris read him his rights and asked Mead if he wanted a lawyer.

"I can't answer any questions because I don't know what (expletive) happened," Mead responded.

Harris said said he told Mead he needed to help him understand what took place. He said it appeared Mead wanted to open up, and that's why he went on with the interview.

Mead's defense attorney, Maj. Jacqueline Tubbs, said it was obvious from the video that Mead had requested a lawyer so the questioning should have stopped.

"How clear does it have to be, unless we're playing the 'no' means 'yes' game," Tubbs said.

Tubbs wants the judge to prevent military prosecutors from introducing the statement as evidence during the court-martial. The judge didn't rule on the motion Tuesday.

Mead, who is being held in pretrial confinement at Camp Lejeune, is an indirect-fire infantryman assigned to 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

He joined the Army in June 2002 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 and to Iraq in 2006.