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Bragg soldier faces homicide charge in medic's death

A hearing similar to a grand jury proceeding was held Wednesday for a Fort Bragg soldier charged with making false statements about the death of an Army medic in Iraq.

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Spc. Morganne M. McBeth
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — The military has upgraded charges against a Fort Bragg soldier charged with killing an Army medic in Iraq last year.

Spc. Nicholas Bailey was charged Wednesday with negligent homicide and obstructing justice in the July 2, 2010, death of Spc. Morganne McBeth, 19, in a non-combat-related incident.

Bailey was originally charged involuntary manslaughter, conspiring to obstruct justice and giving false statements.

A second suspect in McBeth's death, Spc. Tyler Cain, 21, is charged with obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statement.

The Army initially investigated McBeth's death as an accident, but last November, the Army's Criminal Investigative Command said that investigators were treating the case as a homicide because they didn't believe the statements they had been given.

Prosecutors said Cain claimed in three statements that Bailey stabbed a poster on a wall with his knife and had to use a lot of force to get it out of the wall. When the knife finally broke free, it struck McBeth, who had just walked behind him, according to his statements.

In a fourth statement, Cain changed his story, saying that Bailey had been wildly flailing the knife around, struck the wall and then accidentally stabbed McBeth when he turned around, according to prosecutors.

Bailey is scheduled to face a court-martial in late May or early June.


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