Local News

Bragg soldier guilty of lying about medic's death

Posted April 6, 2011 10:01 a.m. EDT
Updated April 6, 2011 12:32 p.m. EDT

— A Fort Bragg soldier was convicted Tuesday in a military trial of conspiracy and lying to military investigators looking into the death of an Army medic in Iraq last year.

Spc. Tyler Cain, 21, was found guilty of conspiring to obstruct justice and two counts of giving false statements. He was sentenced Wednesday to 45 days of confinement and was dropped in rank to private.

Spc. Morganne McBeth, 19, died July 2 at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq after being stabbed in the chest in a non-combat incident, authorities said.

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

Spc. Nicholas Bailey has been charged with negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter, conspiring to obstruct justice and giving false statements in the case. His court-martial is scheduled for May 24.

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.