(Editor's note: This is from Joint Base Lewis-McChord)
The General Court-Martial Convening Authority this week referred court-martial charges against Sgt. John Russell, to a General Court-Martial empowered to adjudge a capital sentence. No trial date has been set.
Charges against Sgt. Russell include:
- Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 118 - Premeditated Murder; five specifications of murder
- UCMJ, Article 128 – one specification of Aggravated assault
- UCMJ, Article 80 -- one specification of attempted murder
If convicted of all charges (and specifications), the maximum possible punishment is death.
These charges result from an investigation into Sgt. Russell's alleged shooting of five military personnel on May 11, 2009 at the Camp Liberty Combat Stress Center in Iraq. Sgt. Russell is currently in pretrial confinement at the Northwest Joint Regional Confinement Facility at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Sgt. Russell deployed to Iraq with the 370th Engineer Company, 54th Engineer Battalion from Bamberg, Germany. Once in theater, the 54th was assigned to a unit from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The charges are merely accusations and Sgt. Russell is presumed innocent until proven guilty.