What the DoD Doesn’t Want You to Know: 50 Shocking Military Homicides in the Last 30 Years (March 23, 2018)

homicide-cases

  1. Fort Carson Army Spc. Tracy Spencer Sentenced to Life in Prison for Double Rape & Murder of Army Veteran Micki Filmore & Colorado Springs Nurse Barbara Kramer (1986)
  2. Army Soldier Ronald Gray Sentenced to Death by Military Courts for Rape & Murder of Army Pvt. Laura Vickery-Clay & Civilian Kimberly Ruggles (1986)
  3. Army Pvt Rosa Martinez Murdered at Fort Dix by National Guardsman Jose Aponte After She Resisted His Sexual Advances (1987)
  4. Army Soldier Dwight Loving Robbed & Murdered Cab Driver; Sentenced to Death by Military But Commuted by President Obama, Sentenced to Life (1988)
  5. Army Soldier Erin Tynan Raped & Strangled by Fellow Fort Irwin Soldier Christopher Geier, Geier Guilty of Murder, Murder-For-Hire & Attempted Murder (1990)
  6. Air Force Sgt. Joseph Snodgrass Hired Hitmen to Kill Wife in Philippines for $400,000 Life Insurance Payout; Sentenced to Life in Prison (1991)
  7. Army Spouse Melinda Stewart, Army Sgt. Daniel Stewart, Jill Yousaf & Army Soldier James Catlin Conspired & Murdered Homeless Teen Maggie Fetty (1991)
  8. Phonthip Ott Discovered Dead in California River; Coast Guard Spouse Dennis Ott Convicted of Murder & Sentenced to Life in Prison (1992)
  9. Fort Carson Army Soldier Michael Pelkey Convicted by Military Court Martial of Murdering Wife Diane; Sentenced to Life in Prison (1993)
  10. Sgt. Bill Coffin Murdered Ex-Fiancee After Civilian Courts Issued Protective Order, Judge Alleges Army Routinely Ignores Court Orders (1997)
  11. Navy Petty Officer James Kuenn Convicted of the Cold Case Murder of Carol Hutto in Florida; Sentenced to Life, Possibility of Parole After 25 Years (2000)
  12. Air Force Capt. Frank ‘Marty’ Theer Murdered by Wife Michelle & Army SSG John Diamond in North Carolina; Both Sentenced to Life in Prison (2000)
  13. Fort Bliss Army Commander Capt. Lynn Reister Murdered by Enlisted Husband Roger & His Brother Rodney for Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (2001)
  14. Air Force SSgt Shelby Orelup Murdered by an Airman She Dated Briefly, SSgt Phillip Arindain Sentenced to Life in Prison (2003)
  15. Army Soldiers Jeremy Meyers & Christopher Baber Found Guilty of Murdering Jeremy’s Wife Jessica for the Life Insurance Policy (2003)
  16. Air Force Airman Andy Schliepsiek & Wife Jamie Stabbed to Death at Robins Air Force Base, Andrew Witt Found Guilty of First Degree Murder (2004)
  17. Marine Corps Reservist Rosendo Rodriguez III Murdered Summer Baldwin and Unborn Child; Sentenced to Death in Texas for Two Capital Murders (2005)
  18. Navy Seabee Rebecca Braswell Conspired with Fellow Navy Seabees to Kill Ex-Husband & Navy Veteran John Marmo, Sentenced to Life in Prison (2006)
  19. Army Sgt 1st Class Donald Gower Conspired & Offered to Pay Others to Murder his Estranged Wife Hidi Gower for the Life Insurance (2007)
  20. Marine LCpl Maria Lauterbach & Unborn Child were Murdered; Fellow Marine Cesar Laurean Found Guilty of Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (2007)
  21. Fort Bragg Army Soldier Edgar Patino Murdered Army Specialist Megan Touma & Unborn Son After Argument, Sentenced to 16-20 Years in Prison (2008)
  22. Fort Bragg Army Nurse Lt Holley Wimunc Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce, John Wimunc Sentenced to Life in Prison (2008)
  23. Army Sgt. Christina Smith Murdered by Army Husband Richard Smith & Accomplice Matthew Kvapil, Both Fort Bragg Soldiers Sentenced to Life in Prison (2008)
  24. Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak & Spouse Quiana Murdered by Four Active Duty Marines (2008)
  25. Disabled Teen Judilianna Lawrence Lured on MySpace by Army Soldier; Robert Marko Sentenced to Life in Prison for Rape & Murder (2008)
  26. Army Soldier Ashley Barnes Stabbed to Death by Estranged Husband; Fort Campbell Army Soldier Khaleefa Lambert Sentenced to Life in Prison (2009)
  27. Navy Petty Officer Amanda Snell Murdered by Marine Jorge Torrez in Barracks at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia (2009)
  28. Navy Master Chief John Bench Murdered Son & Attempted to Murder Wife & Daughter in Japan, Then Killed Self in Motorcycle Crash (2009)
  29. Army Major Nidal Hasan Sentenced to Death by Military Court for Opening Fire & Killing 12 Unarmed Soldiers & 1 DoD Employee at Fort Hood, Texas (2009)
  30. Pregnant Samira Watkins Found Dead in Bayou Grande in Florida; Navy Sailor Zachary Littleton Convicted of 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life (2009)
  31. Army SSG Anton Phillips Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)
  32. Air Force Reservist Travis McGraw Murdered his Wife Vanessa for the $100,000 Life Insurance Policy; Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2011)
  33. Army Soldier Sgt. Brandy Fonteneaux Found Murdered in Fort Carson Barracks; Sgt. Vincinte Jackson Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2012)
  34. Air Force A1C James Thomas Sentenced to 32 Years for Murder of SrA Clinton Reeves (2012)
  35. Marine Corps Spouse Brittany Killgore Held Captive, Tortured, Raped, and Murdered After Refusing Sex; 3 BDSM Cult Members Sentenced to Life (2012)
  36. Robert Chiaravalotti, US Army, Sentenced to Life Without Parole by Military Judge After Killing Wife & Raping Step Daughter (2012)
  37. Army Soldier Kimberly Walker Murdered in Colorado Hotel Room by her Boyfriend Army Soldier Montrell Mayo After Valentine’s Day Quarrel (2013)
  38. Baby Found Dead on Side of Highway; Air Force SrA Matthew Theurer Plead Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter, Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison (2013)
  39. Marine Nathaniel Cosby Convicted of the Second Degree Murder of Ivanice Harris in Hawaii; Sentenced to Life in Prison by Military Courts (2013)
  40. Army Spouse Dana Mackay Found Murdered in Virginia Home; SSG John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, Nace Houchin, & Greg Crawford Confessed to Crime (2013)
  41. Army Soldier Jeremiah Hill Convicted in Fatal Stabbing of Fellow Soldier Tevin Geike in 2013, Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison
  42. Navy PO 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov Found Strangled to Death in Germany; Air Force SSgt Sean Oliver Found Guilty, Sentenced to Life (2013)
  43. Nathaniel Ulroan, US Army, Gets Life in Death of Son (2014)
  44. Camp Pendleton Marine Christopher Lee Convicted of Pre-Meditated Murder of Pregnant Lover Erin Corwin; Sentenced to Life in Prison (2014)
  45. Danielle Nemetz was Shot and Killed; Army Soldier and Spouse Skylar Nemetz Convicted of Manslaughter and Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison (2014)
  46. Marine Joseph Pemberton Found Guilty by Philippines Court for Murder of Filipina Sex Worker Jennifer Laude; Sentenced to 6-12 Years (2014)
  47. Fort Meade Army Soldier Caleb Barnes Stabbed Cheryl Silvonek to Death; Plead Guilty to First Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (2015)
  48. Army Soldier Joseph Kimsey & Jonathon Nelson Found Guilty of Murdering Ashley Melnyczok; Both Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole (2015)
  49. Air Force SSgt Steven Williams Pleaded No Contest to the Second Degree Murder of his USAF Veteran Ex-Wife Tricia Todd in Florida (2016)
  50. Fort Carson Army Soldier Branden Harms Pleaded Guilty to Child Abuse Resulting in Death; Faced 40-48 Years in Prison at Sentencing (2016)

Ashley Melnyczok Found Fatally Stabbed in Colorado Home; AWOL Army Soldier Joseph Kimsey & Jonathon Nelson Found Guilty of Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (June 3, 2015)

Ashley Melnyczok

Ashley Melnyczok, Colorado Springs, Colorado (photo: Investigation Discovery)

On June 3, 2015, Ashley Melnyczok was found stabbed to death in her Colorado Springs, Colorado apartment. She had been stabbed four times, twice in the neck and twice in the back; the killer also put a plastic bag over her head causing suffocation. Ashley was discovered by her friend who was initially considered a suspect but he was quickly ruled out. With no known suspects, detectives started doing a victimology to learn more about Ashley and her life. They learned that Ashely had a rocky relationship with the father of her daughter, Jason Connor, and had lost custody as a result of the tumultuous relationship. But Ashley was determined to get custody of her daughter and began to make positive changes to improve her life. She got a new waitressing job, a new apartment, and was determined to fight off depression in an effort to provide stability for her daughter. Jason was also ruled out as a suspect.

When investigators looked into Ashley’s criminal history, they found multiple domestic violence incidents and a pending domestic violence case against Joseph Kimsey. Kimsey, 23, was an Army soldier stationed at Fort Carson and according to Army leadership was nowhere to be found and considered Absent without Leave (AWOL). In the course of the investigation, investigators also learned that Ashley’s car was missing so they were on the hunt for it. And eventually, two individuals were pulled over in the stolen car. When police asked where they got the car, the pair claimed that Jonathon “JP” Nelson gave it to them. This was the same person a witness said answered Ashley’s door on June 1st. According to records, JP Nelson was dishonorably discharged from the Army a couple years earlier and had a pending criminal case; he was accused of hitting a female in the back of the head with a sledgehammer. JP was apprehended and arrested by police after trying to make entry into Ashley’s apartment with a large duffel bag.

While JP Nelson was in county jail, an inmate contacted detectives to inform them JP had confessed to the murder and said he didn’t do it alone. They knew the inmate was being truthful because he revealed a detail about the homicide that had been kept from the press. When pressed for a name, he could only provide them with a nickname “Pony Boy” so police set out to find out who Pony Boy was. About a month after the homicide, Ashley’s ex-boyfriend Joseph Kimsey was arrested for failure to appear in court. When interviewed, police learned that Kimsey was Pony Boy and that Nelson and Kimsey served in the Army together at Fort Carson. They were also both in county jail at the same time. JP Nelson bonded out on May 1st but he continued to stay in contact with Kimsey who was still in jail. The two of them initially schemed to rob Ashley to get money for Kimsey’s bond but Ashley didn’t take the bait.

Kimsey was released from county jail on June 1st. He made contact with Ashley and she agreed to meet with him at her new apartment, but he didn’t go alone. Once inside, Kimsey and JP Nelson demanded that Ashley open her safe but she refused so the pair attacked her. Ashley fought hard for her life and as a result it took two of them to kill her. The prosecution theorized that the bag was put over her head to keep her quiet. Both Jonathon Nelson and Joseph Kimsey were charged with first degree murder. A fingerprint in Ashley’s blood tied Jonathon Nelson directly to the murder. Investigators ascertained that JP returned to Ashley’s apartment two days later to dismember and dispose of Ashley’s body, instead he was spotted and arrested. In 2017, both Jonathon Nelson and Joseph Kimsey were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Source: Murder Behind Closed Doors, Grave Mysteries

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: 27 year-old Ashley Melnyczok is a single mother. Her daughter is her life’s joy. In June 2015, Ashley is murdered in her Colorado Springs home. While hunting for clues, police hunt down a cast of dangerous characters and uncover a heinous plot. -Murder Behind Closed Doors, Grave Mysteries (S2,E3)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

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Murder Behind Closed Doors | Grave Mysteries | Investigation Discovery (S2,E3)