Fortunately, there are some news organizations covering the story. The most recent report comes from The Journal News, of Rockland County, NY.
The widow of Capt. Phillip Esposito of Suffern hopes military authorities will seek the harshest punishment for the soldier accused of killing her husband and another officer in Iraq.
Siobhan Esposito, 31, made the comments a day after returning from Kuwait, where a pretrial hearing for Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez was held last week. He is charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the killings of Esposito, 30, and Lt. Louis Allen, 34, of Milford, Pa., on June 7 in Tikrit, allegedly because he had been reprimanded.
"I hope it is tried as a capital case," Esposito said. "I would be disappointed if it is not."
Col. Patrick Reinert, the officer investigating the slayings, recommended a general court-martial, which carries a maximum sentence of life without parole. But he said enough evidence existed to try it as a capital case, allowing for the death penalty, and left it to higher authorities to make that decision.
Reinert's recommendations are nonbinding. They will be forwarded to Lt. Gen. John H. Vines in Baghdad, who will decide whether to seek the death penalty.
The pretrial investigation under Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice was required before any court-martial could take place. The hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, took place at Camp Arifjan in southern Kuwait.
Esposito and Barbara Allen, Allen's widow, spent two days listening to witnesses and criminal investigators who testified before Reinert. Martinez and his wife, Tamara, also were present during the hearing.
Witnesses testified that Martinez, 37, of Troy, was openly antagonistic toward Esposito. He is said to have told at least one officer that he hated Esposito and wanted to "frag" him. He is said to have told another that he wanted Esposito killed.
The above referenced story was filed on November 6, 2005. I understand that there may not be any new developments to report at this time, but that's never stopped the intrepid news-hawks of the "fourth estate" from reporting a story into the ground. I guess they're all waiting to get their marching orders from the New York Times before they feel the story worthy of reporting. Unsurprisingly, the "paper of record", which is published in the home state of the murdered soldiers, doesn't have a single story in the current Google News loop (which goes back about a month) about Martinez. Not one. Disgraceful.
In the meantime, I haven't heard any more news from my back-channel source about the case. I've been told that there is more to it than has been reported, but it would be irresponsible of me to put this info out there with a case pending. I don't want to do anything to endanger the prosecution of this guy. If he's guilty, and I'm inclined to believe he is, he needs to go down.
If you need to get caught up on this story, check out these previous posts:
A SAD DAY FOR THE RAINBOW DIVISION
MORE ON THE 42nd ID "FRAGGING" INCIDENT
DO THE WRONG THING