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Court-martial for US soldier accused of killing superiors

[JURIST] US military investigating officer Col. Patrick Reinhert on Tuesday recommended a court-martial for Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez, a National Guard soldier charged with killing two of his superiors in Iraq [JURIST report]. Col. Reinhert also noted that capital punishment could be an option for Martinez due to aggravating factors. During Martinez's Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder; UCMJ text], Reinhert found "reasonable cause" to believe that Martinez used an anti-personnel mine and three grenades to kill Capt. Philip Esposito and Lt. Louis E. Allen in a "personal vendetta" against them. The June 7 deaths of Martinez's superiors in an explosion at a base in Tikrit is believed to be first case of an American soldier in Iraq accused of killing his superiors, although it is the second case during the Iraq war where a soldier has been charged with killing his comrades [JURIST report]. During the military hearings, which began on Monday [JURIST report], Capt. Carl Prober testified that Martinez told him that he did not like Esposito and planned to "frag" him, a military term for killing one's superior. AP has more.

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