Judge: 3 soldiers should stand trial in slaying
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado ” A district court judge has ruled there is enough evidence to try three Iraq veterans for the alleged murder of a fellow soldier.
District Judge David Gilbert ruled Friday, ordering the trio to appear in court again April 14 to enter pleas.
Two of the accused, Edward Bressler, 25, and Kenneth Lee Eastridge, 24, have left the Army. Pfc. Bruce Alan Bastien Jr., 21, was being discharged for medical reasons but that has been suspended pending the outcome of the case, said Fort Carson spokesman Doug Rule.
All three could still face charges before a court-martial in the shooting death of Spc. Kevin Shields, shot Nov. 30 on his 24th birthday, the Gazette reported.
Bressler and Bastien were to enter pleas Friday in the Aug. 4 robbery shooting death of Pfc. Robert James. Their lawyers requested and were given a delay.
Denise Minish, spokeswoman for the El Paso County district attorney, said a decision to proceed to a trial in the James’ case was made earlier.
Police Det. Joseph Matiatos testified Friday that Bastien had told him “Shields knew too much about the schemes to do a bank robbery and the robbery of a gun store.”
Matiatos said Eastridge told him that after the killing he had commented that Shields “doesn’t know anything now.” The detective also said Bastien told him that he saw Bressler shoot Shields five times.
Shields widow cried when prosecutors showed the judge pictures of Shield’s body.
Shields, Bressler, Eastridge and Bastien served in Iraq with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Regiment. All three accused are being held without bond.
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