Soldiers charged in civilian's death

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Two U.S. soldiers have been charged with murder in the death of an Iraqi civilian, the 1st Cavalry Division announced Monday.

A military statement identified the soldiers as Staff Sgt. Johnny Horne Jr. and Staff Sgt. Cardenas Alban, both from Company C, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment from Fort Riley, Kan.

Fort Riley spokeswoman Sam Robinson said Horne, 30, of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Alban, 29, of Carson, Calif., were both on their second tour of duty in Iraq with the unit.

The statement said the alleged incidents are not related to murder charges filed against Sgt. Michael Williams and Spc. Brent May, from the same unit. They were charged in the deaths of three Iraqis, the military announced last week. Williams was also charged with obstruction of justice and making a false official statement, the military said.

Approximately 800 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry are serving their second tour in Iraq. Robinson said the unit, which is part of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, is temporarily serving with the 1st Cavalry while in Iraq.

Horne joined the Army in September 1999 and arrived at Fort Riley in April 2003. Alban joined the Army in April 1997 and arrived at Fort Riley in December 1997.

Robinson referred all other questions to officials in Iraq, adding that Fort Riley has learned little about the two incidents since they were first reported.

Monday's charges were the third set of murder charges filed in just over two weeks against soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry.

On Sept. 15, prosecutors charged Sgts. Eric J. Colvin, 23, of Pappilion, Neb., and Aaron R. Stanley, 22, of Bismarck, N.D., with the shooting death of Staff Sgt. Matthew H. Werner, 30, of Oxnard, Calif., at a home in rural Clay County, about 30 miles from Fort Riley.

A second soldier, Spec. Christopher D. Hymer, 23, of Nevada, Mo., was wounded in the incident and died Sept. 18 in a Wichita, Kan., hospital. Prosecutors had charged Colvin and Stanley with attempted first-degree murder in his shooting and expect to upgrade the charges.

Colvin and Stanley remain jailed on $1 million bond each.

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