I've been tracking the story of Alberto Martinez closely, but there haven't been any developments in some time. Until today.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- A Schaghticoke soldier accused of killing two U.S. officers in Iraq will face death penalty charges at an arraignment scheduled for Nov. 3 at Fort Bragg, military officials announced Monday.
Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez, a 37-year-old New York Army National Guardsman, is charged with using explosives to "frag" Capt. Phillip T. Esposito, 30, of Suffern, Rockland County, and 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen, 34, of Milford, Pa., in June 2005 near Tikrit in Iraq.
He faces the death penalty on two counts of premeditated murder, wrongfully possessing private guns and alcohol; and wrongfully giving or selling printers and copiers to an Iraqi national.
Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, the General Court Martial Convening Authority, referred the charges to General Court Martial last week, and sent the case up as a capital case, according to a Monday news release by the XVIII Airborne Corps Public Affairs Office in North Carolina.
A military judge at Fort Bragg will formally present the charges against Martinez. The judge also will ensure during the hearing that Martinez has adequate counsel, Fort Bragg officials said. Martinez, a former member of the 42nd Infantry Division, could have paid for his own civilian defense but opted for military lawyers assigned to him at no personal cost.
The military charged Martinez last year in Kuwait with killing Esposito and Allen. Authorities say he held a grudge against Esposito, and detonated a mine and three grenades in the officers' room.