What is next for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier suspected in the deaths of 16 Afghan civilians?
NBC Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski tells KING 5 charges could be filed by the end of this week or next week.
When charges are filed, the soldier’s name will be released. But, it’s widely believed the name will somehow be leaked before that because someone will say something. The soldier's wife and children have been moved onto the base for their own protection.
Miklaszewski says he is hearing the Army will charge this as a capitol case, which means it could lead to the death penalty. That will be followed by an Article 32 hearing to determine whether the charges warrant a court martial. The soldier can waive the Article 32 hearing and go straight to a court martial.
Then the question becomes where to hold the court martial. If it’s held in Afghanistan, there is access to civilian and military witnesses who may have seen or heard something, but there may be more expert witnesses available if the trial is held in the U.S.
There is also the possibility that U.S. may be out of Afghanistan before the case goes to trial.