A District Attorney says he will seek the death penalty for three Army soldiers based at Fort Stewart in southeast Georgia. They are accused of killing two people to protect an anti-government militia. The soldiers allegedly planned to overthrow the government.
District Attorney Tom Durden says Private Isaac Aguigui, Sgt. Anthony Peden and Private Christopher Salmon killed former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend, 17 year old Tiffany York because they were worried Roark was about to reveal the anarchist plot.
Durden says he is seeking the death penalty because of the brutality of the murders and because they were allegedly committed to cover up a plot to overthrow the government.
University of Georgia law professor Ronald Carlson says it’s very rare for the military to turn on itself.
He says “This was a very ambitious plot apparently. The information we have from the D.A.’s office said the aims of the conspiracy were to kill the President, take over Fort Stewart and perhaps even poison an apple crop in the state of Washington.”
The soldiers are charged with murder and criminal gang activity in state court. Carlson says the Justice Department and the military could file other charges involving the plot to overthrow the government.
He says “If it was DOJ, it will be charges of depravation of civil rights inflicted on Mr. Roark and Miss York. If the Army decides to move forward, the charges could be much more serious than those filed by the Department of Justice.”
Army officials say their investigation into the case is ongoing.
Another soldier, Private Michael Burnett has pleaded guilty and will testify against the others.