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Army investigator who led Green Beret murder case pleads guilty to stolen valor charges
The Army's lead investigator in the Maj. Matthew Golsteyn murder case has pleaded guilty to charges related to wearing medals that he had not been awarded, said Fort Bragg spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Burns.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Delacruz was reduced in rank to specialist after pleading guilty at a special court-martial on Monday to making false official statements and wearing unauthorized insignia, decorations, badges, and ribbons, Burns told Task & Purpose.
Delacruz had been charged for falsely submitting a Purple Heart to his official military file and wearing the decoration along with the Pathfinder Badge and Air Assault Badge, none of which he had been officially awarded, Burns said. The former sergeant first class also certified his official military board file for promotion.
Burns declined to say whether Delacruz will be discharged or how his sentence could affect the prosecution's case against Golsteyn, who is charged with murder after repeatedly admitting that he killed an unarmed suspected Taliban bomb-maker.
Delacruz was suspended from all investigative duties when the allegations against him first emerged late last year, said Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Christopher Grey.
"He is now in the final stages of being eliminated from the CID program," said Grey, who also declined to comment on how Delacruz's conviction could affect the government's case against Golsteyn.
Task & Purpose was unable to reach Delacruz's attorney on Tuesday.
Golsteyn's civilian attorney Phillip Stackhouse has vowed to argue that Delacruz improperly "planted the seed" of incriminating information in the minds of prosecution witnesses if the case goes to trial.
"Why would that shock anyone that I would want to get out that he's a dirty agent and he had already tainted these witnesses that are being called?" Stackhouse told Task & Purpose on Tuesday.
No trial date has been set.
The Golsteyn case has been rife with twists since February 2010, when Golsteyn allegedly killed an unarmed man in Afghanistan whom a tribal elder had identified as a Taliban bomb-maker who had killed two Marines. He first buried the man's body, but then later he and two other soldiers dug up the corpse and burned it, according to the Washington Post.
Golsteyn first acknowledged while taking a polygraph for a CIA job that he had killed the man, but Army investigators initially did not find enough evidence to charge him. That changed after Golsteyn admitted during an October 2016 interview with Fox News' Bret Baier that he had killed the suspected bomb-maker.
The Army charged Golsteyn with murder in December. Three days later, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would personally review the case, calling Golsteyn a "U.S. military hero."
For his part, Golsteyn maintains he was acting within the rules of engagement when he killed the suspected bomb-maker. In February, he told Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe that he had legally ambushed the Afghan man, who was walking toward Taliban positions.
"He had a long walk," Golsteyn said. "He had a long time to figure out where he was going in life."
SEE ALSO: Amid multiple murder investigations, Pentagon finds no issues with special ops ethics training
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Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.
The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.
We salute the foul-mouthed Navy vet remembered as 'the most inappropriate guy with the biggest heart'
Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.
"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.
The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.
Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.
A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.
William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.
He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.
Reuters) - Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, was killed in a U.S. counter-terrorism operation, the White House said on Saturday.