Father says he warned Army of soldiers' murder plans
Added under Afghanistan/Pakistan
The father of a U.S. soldier serving in Afghanistan says he tried nearly a half dozen times to pass an urgent message from his son to the Army: Troops in his unit had murdered an Afghan civilian, planned more killings and threatened him to keep quiet about it.
By the time officials arrested suspects months later -- a soldier from Wasilla among them -- two more Afghans were dead.
And much to Christopher Winfield's horror, his son Adam was also one of the five Fort Lewis-based soldiers charged in the killings.
The elder Winfield told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that his son did not kill the unarmed man and would never have been in the situation if the Army had investigated the warnings he says he passed along to Fort Lewis.
The new details about Winfield's efforts to alert the Army and his son's pleas raised questions about the Army's handling of the case and its system for allowing soldiers to report misconduct by their colleagues.
The soldiers have been accused of conspiracy and premeditated murder in a case marked by grisly details.
The highest-ranking is Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who, along with Cpl. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, is accused of taking part in all three killings. Gibbs collected fingers and other body parts from Afghan corpses, slaughtered animals indiscriminately and hoarded illicitly obtained weapons he could drop near civilian bodies to make them appear to be combatants, according to charges filed by Army prosecutors and statements soldiers in the platoon made to investigators.
Sources: Associated Press
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