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Afghanistan suspect's base had 2010 killing case

•  Court News     updated  2012/03/11 10:05

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is one of the largest military installations in the U.S., and one that has seen its share of controversies and violence in the past few years.

The news that a soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers Sunday comes from this base about 45 miles south of Seattle hit hard.

"It's another blow to this community," said Spc. Jared Richardson, an engineer, as he stood outside a barbershop near the base. "This is definitely something we don't need."

Home to about 100,000 military and civilian personnel, the base has suffered a spate of suicides among soldiers back from war. The Army is investigating whether doctors at Lewis-McChord's Madigan Army Medical Center were urged to consider the cost of providing benefits when reviewing diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Most famously, four Lewis-McChord soldiers were convicted in the deliberate thrill killings of three Afghan civilians in 2010.

The military newspaper Stars and Stripes called it "the most troubled base in the military" that year.

Catherine Caruso, a spokeswoman for Lewis-McChord, said she could not comment on reports that the soldier involved in Sunday's shooting was based there.


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