Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Onward, Christian Soldier’ on ID: Fort Bragg Army MSgt William Wright Admitted Murdering Wife (June 29, 2019)

ID Go: While her husband serves in the army, a lonely married mother of three finds comfort in the arms of her church’s charismatic new minister. But danger looms in the form of a jealous love-rival that will stop at nothing to scare her away. -Onward, Christian Soldier, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S4,E4)

Forbidden: Dying for Love featured the Jennifer and William Wright 2002 homicide-suicide case on Investigation Discovery. ‘Onward, Christian Soldier’ highlighted the circumstances that lead to the murder of Jennifer Wright and the pain it inflicted on those who were left behind including their three sons. According to the show, William Wright was a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina with his wife and three children. MSgt Wright was routinely deployed after 9/11/2001 and as a result he was never home. Bill’s absence was hard on Jennifer and the marriage. She wanted Bill to leave the Army but the Army was his life; it’s what he was meant to do. While Bill was deployed in Afghanistan, he learned that Jennifer was telling people back home that he divorced her.

Bill was stunned to learn the news and was granted leave to go back stateside and deal with his family crisis. Bill learned Jennifer was having an affair with the pastor at church and she wanted a divorce. Instead of salvaging his marriage, Bill murdered Jennifer in the family home on June 29, 2002 and covered it up. When investigators questioned Bill about Jennifer’s murder, he broke down and told them everything. Bill admitted he hit his wife with a baseball bat and then strangled her to death. He then put her body in a garbage bag and buried her in some woods near Fort Bragg. In 2003, William Wright was in prison awaiting trial when he died by suicide in his jail cell. Jennifer and William’s sons expressed concern that the Army’s anti-malaria drugs negatively impacted their father’s health and was most likely the reason this tragedy occurred.

This domestic violence related homicide was one of five murders that occurred in a six week period at Fort Bragg in 2002. Rigoberto Nieves fatally shot his wife Teresa on June 11, 2002; Cedric Griffin fatally stabbed his wife Marilyn on July 9, 2002; Brandon Floyd fatally shot his wife Andrea on July 19, 2002; and military spouse Joan Shannon manipulated her daughter Elizabeth to shoot her step-father Major David Shannon on July 23, 2002 while he slept.

Source: ‘Onward, Christian Soldier’ Forbidden: Dying for Love

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.

Related Links:
Fort Bragg Soldier Admits To Wife’s Murder
Wives’ slayings shock Army at Fort Bragg
Soldiers kill wives after serving in Afghanistan
Murders shake US military
A Base Rocked by Violence
A War at Home | People
Blood on the Home Front | Time
Death in the Ranks at Fort Bragg
4 Wives Slain in 6 Weeks at Ft. Bragg
Fort Bragg’s Deadly Summer | Vanity Fair (December 2002)
Rash of Wife Killings at Ft. Bragg Leaves the Base Wondering Why
Suicide In Fort Bragg Jail (March 24, 2003)
Special Forces Soldier Hangs Himself
Third Bragg soldier took malaria drug
Special Forces soldier charged in wife’s slaying hangs himself
What to Watch on Saturday: A Fayetteville murder on ID, new movies from Hallmark and Lifetime
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S4,E4)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)
Death on the Home Front (2009)
Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives by Tanya Biank (February 7, 2006)

Snapped Premiered ‘Ashley Schutt’ on Oxygen: Wife Convicted of Premeditated Murder of Husband Gregg Schutt, Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 22, 2018)

Full Episode: When a woman covered in blood shows up on her neighbor’s doorstep, Georgia police commence a home invasion investigation that leads them to uncover more twists than they could have ever imagined. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

On July 25, 2009 in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Ashley Schutt called the police and told them a black man raped her and killed her husband Gregg Schutt. Gregg was a described by friends and family as a gentle giant and very sweet mannered. Gregg met Ashley at his place of employment; she was a customer. Ashley was described as quiet, timid, withdrawn, and scared to talk. But for some reason, Gregg drew Ashley out of her shell and they started dating. And in the spring of 2000, Ashley and Gregg decided to get married. Ashley graduated from high school and the two got married within a week of her graduation. Gregg wanted to provide for his family so he decided to enlist in the Army in the winter of 2001. After graduating basic, he went to San Antonio for training as a veterinary tech. He loved his job and Ashley liked being an Army wife. Over the next few years, his job would take them all over the world. They were stationed in Nebraska, Kansas, and Japan. Gregg did really well in the military and was looking forward to a great future in the military. But then Ashley’s health took a turn for the worse.

Ashley was diagnosed with diabetes and it was hard to control so she had to take insulin shots. She also gained a significant amount of weight and was having problems with her heart. She was literally on the verge of having a heart attack. Ashley’s was sent to Hawaii for specialized care and the doctors were concerned about her long term medical well-being. They thought she would be better off if she stayed in the United States where she could get treatment. Ashley moved to Atlanta, Georgia in July 2004 and after Gregg was discharged from the Army in December 2004, he moved to Atlanta to be with Ashley. The couple used their savings and purchased a home in Lawrenceville, Georgia. But Gregg struggled to find steady civilian work and Ashley’s medical bills were piling up. Gregg was depressed because he couldn’t provide for his family the way he wanted to. In order to make ends meet, the couple rented out one of their rooms to a young woman named Deidre. The rent money helped stabilize their money problems. Then in 2008, Gregg found work at a nearby veterinary clinic and a few months later Gregg received a small inheritance after his grandmother passed.

The money came just in time for Ashley because doctors said she needed radical weight loss surgery to solve some of her healthcare issues. Gregg didn’t hesitate to pay for the surgery and Ashley lost a lot of weight. Ashley literally transformed and was half the size she was before. She felt more confident and outgoing. Over the next several months, Ashley and Gregg’s life appeared to improve. Gregg still loved his job and Ashley’s health finally stabilized. After Ashley found a steady job at a call center, the pair was ready for their roommate to move out. They saved some more money and Ashley was ready to have a child. But on July 25, 2009, Gregg was murdered. When police arrived, they found Ashley covered in blood. She was able to give a brief statement but it appeared she had just gone through a traumatic event. Ashley told the police the attack began shortly after 3 a.m. and the suspect was an unknown black male. She said Gregg told her someone was in the house. And then a black male entered their bedroom and immediately started stabbing Gregg. Ashley also said the man raped her and made her watch as he killed her husband.

The police’s primary concern was Ashley’s safety and medical status. While Ashley was being treated, police intensified their search for the attacker and examined the crime scene. Gregg was stabbed multiple times and beat in the head with a hammer. His wrists and throat were also cut. This was a prolonged, sustained attack on him and his body was in horrible condition. There was a lot about the crime scene that didn’t make sense. There was no ransacking of drawers or evidence that anyone was looking for anything of value. The entire room was also drenched in water. They found the cell phones hidden in the microwave so if Gregg did escape, he wouldn’t be able to find his cell phone. This was not a normal crime for this particular neighborhood. There were no witnesses to the events and nobody saw anything unusual. Meanwhile, Ashley’s condition improved and she wanted to amend her initial statement. This time, she said there were two black men who entered the home. The two men were wearing yellow hoodies and grabbed knives from the kitchen. Gregg started fighting with the guys to protect Ashley.

Ashley began to provide more detail in her second statement. She said two black men stormed the house and brutally murdered her husband and raped her. She claimed the two black men used Gregg’s sex toys to rape her and they kept stabbing Gregg while they were raping her. She said the attackers asked Gregg how he wanted to die. Then they made her fill a bucket of water and forced her to dump it down Greg’s throat in an attempt to drown him. Ashley says after hours of painful torture, they decided to finish Gregg off with a claw hammer. Ashley said she had to witness Gregg die and described in detail what she observed as he was dying. She thought they were going to kill her next but they spared her life because they didn’t murder women. The police had to ask themselves why were Ashley and Gregg targeted to begin with? They know crime can happen anywhere but it didn’t make sense why the suspects chose this house, this time of day, and this family to terrorize. The detectives know they always have to consider alternative theories because if you get stuck on one theory and don’t give possibility to the others, you may be doing an injustice.

Police theorized this crime could have been drug-related if they were looking for cash and it also could have been some marital strife where an outside party is involved. Detectives started looking into Gregg and Ashley’s inner circle to see if they could find some leads. They started with the roommate and found out the roommate did drugs but Gregg and Ashley weren’t happy about having drugs in their home. Ashley and Gregg together decided Deidre needed to move out and Deidre wasn’t happy about it. She felt betrayed because her and Ashley were friends. Deidre admitted leaving the house on bad terms but after a few months Deidre and Ashley made up and became friends again. Deidre told detectives if they were looking for answers, they needed to look at Gregg. She said Gregg was physically and verbally abusive to Ashley when she was living with them. He was also very aggressive and impatient. Detectives checked the records to see if there were any domestic disputes on file but found no documented physical abuse. Although fear of the abuser and what it will do to the family often prevents victims from reporting.

When police spoke to Ashley’s parents, they confirmed there was trouble in the relationship from the beginning. They said Gregg was controlling and didn’t want Ashley to do her hair or make up or even leave the house. They said Ashley told them he said she was fat and ugly and no one wanted her. As the years went on, the abuse seemed to get worse. Ashley was having frequent suspicious “accidents” and they felt a lot of her health problems were because of Gregg. They said she lost hair because of the stress and gained the weight because of the way he treated her. According to Ashley’s parents, two weeks before Gregg died, Ashley said she wanted to leave Gregg but was afraid of what he would to do her. Ashley claimed Gregg told her if she tried to leave, he would slit her throat before she cleared the garage door. Ashley’s dad told her to call a divorce attorney and make sure she didn’t say anything to him. Ashley’s dad didn’t want her to pay the price because he wasn’t sure what that price may be. The police had to ponder was Gregg’s death a result of Ashley’s growing fear of Gregg and this somehow pushed her over the edge.

Ashley told one of her friends that she was definitely afraid and felt like she couldn’t leave. The detectives knew from experience that married couples sometimes don’t get along and there was a good possibility that Ashley was the suspect. Less than 24 hours after Greg was found dead, the detective’s focus was beginning to change. Ashley was changing her story, there was no forced entrance, the doors were locked from the inside, the crime scene was confined to the master bedroom, and there were no valuables taken. The crime scene didn’t match the story. They also found wedding bands and a torn picture of the couple on the floor. They thought maybe they found their motive so they went to the hospital and met with the trauma nurse who treated Ashley. Here they learned that there was no trauma and Ashley wasn’t raped. The detectives wanted to meet with Ashley again and this time she admitted her initial statements were fabricated. She told the detectives she was a battered wife and she killed Gregg. She said after she returned home from work, he was going to hit her and she told him if you hit me, this is going to be the last time.

Ashley said she threw her rings on the floor and started packing her bags. She said Gregg came at her with a knife in hand so she grabbed a claw hammer sitting on the dresser and fought back. She said she hit him on the head until he dropped the knife. She then grabbed the knife and ran, and when he came at her, she accidently stabbed him. She then admitted after years of pent of rage, she lost control and stabbed him multiple times. Now police were tasked with investigating if this was a justified act of self defense. They checked the cellphone records to see if they could learn more. They learned that moments before the attack, Gregg was online with one of his friends. The friend said Gregg told him Ashley was home so he had to go. Everything appeared normal. Gregg’s friend also said if anyone was abusive, it was Ashley. He said after Ashley lost her weight, she was pushy and overbearing with Gregg. She also controlled his time and what he was allowed to do. Greg’s friend said she was not a very pleasant person. The police theorized boredom rather than abuse may be what was driving her away from Gregg.

The police learned that Ashley had been dating Gregg since high school. They thought maybe she wanted to start over with her new body and be single. Honestly, the cops were not sure what the real motive was. When the autopsy results were released, it showed that Gregg didn’t have any defensive wounds, therefore Gregg was most likely asleep at the time of the attack. Gregg also had a high dose of Ambien in his system but Ashley was the one with the prescription, not Gregg. Police theorized that after Gregg passed out, she killed him while he was most vulnerable and unable to defend himself. The autopsy results revealed that Gregg was stabbed almost 40 times and beaten about the head with a hammer. The police now had evidence of a premeditated attack and as a result, Ashley was charged with first degree murder. News of the arrest was polarizing. Some knew immediately she did it. Her parents weren’t shocked by the news but didn’t believe she was guilty of murder. On April 25, 2011, Ashley Schutt’s trial for the death of her husband in 2009 started in a Gwinnett County courtroom. Ashley was facing life in prison.

In their opening statements, prosecutors asserted after Ashley’s life changing weight loss surgery, she yearned to start a new life without Gregg. But instead of filing for divorce, Ashley drugged him and killed him to be free of him forever. Ashley testified in her own defense and said she was a battered wife who killed in self defense. She said she went through years of hell with a controlling and domineering man who would rather see her dead than leave him. On cross examination, prosecutors asked Ashley about the sleeping pills found in Gregg’s system and the lack of defensive wounds. Ashley’s demeanor began to change while she was on the stand and all of a sudden she was snapping back. The jury agreed that Ashley killed Gregg with cold hearted premeditation and she was found guilty on all counts. Ashley Schutt received a life sentence with parole after thirty years. She was also given an additional 35 years for aggravated assault, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, and false statements. As of 2018, Ashley’s appeal for a new trial has been denied twice. She is currently appealing her case to the Georgia Superior Court for the third and final time.

Source: ‘Ashley Schutt’ Snapped

Ashley and Gregg Schutt shared a seemingly happy life until a brutal murder exposed the dark underside of their relationship. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

Gwinnett police officers describe the events of July 25, 2009, when Gregg Schutt was found dead in his own home. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

During interrogation, murder suspect Ashley Schutt claimed that her late husband Greg was an abusive spouse. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

Related Links:
Murder in Georgia: Former Sterling woman’s trial begins
Journals, friends paint marital contrasts in Schutt murder trial
Mother: Daughter was emotional mess from marriage
Lawrenceville woman convicted in husband’s murder
Life sentence for Sterling native
Ashley Schutt v. State of Georgia (2013)
Wife’s murder conviction upheld
Life sentence upheld against woman who stabbed husband 38 times while he slept
Snapped: Preview – Secrets And Lies (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Preview – A Horrendous Crime (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Interrogating Ashley (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Ashley Schutt | Snapped | Oxygen (S23, E27)
Watch Ashley Schutt on Snapped (Oxygen)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Shades of Jade’ on ID: Nevada Escort Murders Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Because Greed (April 8, 2016)

A lonely ex-military man meets up with a much younger beautiful woman, and together they fall in love. Or so they think. Until a deadly combination of greed, worry, and secrets leaves one dead and the other on the run… wanted for murder. -Shades of Jade, A Stranger in My Home (S3,E8)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Shades of Jade | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S3,E8)
Shades of Jade | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Shades of Jade | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Murdered by Escort for Money & Mercedes Convertible; Michelle Cummiskey Sentenced to 25 Years to Life (March 7, 1991)

Fort Carson Army Soldier Montrell Mayo Found Guilty of Murdering Girlfriend & Army Soldier Kimberly Walker; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (2014)

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Montrell Mayo, US Army

In November 2014, Army soldier Montrell Mayo was convicted at an Army courts martial and found guilty of the pre-meditated murder of Army soldier Kimberly Walker. Kimberly was his girlfriend and stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas. She was visiting Montrell in Colorado because he was stationed at Fort Carson. Kimberly was found dead at a Colorado Springs hotel on February 14, 2013. Authorities found her body tucked into bed and covered in flower petals. After an investigation, Mayo was charged with Kimberly’s murder but during that time frame he fled to Greenville, North Carolina where he had family. In the meantime, Mayo admitted to his Army supervisor that he may have killed Kimberly and shortly after turned himself into North Carolina police. Mayo was arrested and extradited back to Colorado to face a murder charge for Kimberly’s death. At trial, the defense argued that Mayo hit and strangled Kimberly after an argument in the heat of passion. Mayo claimed Kimberly threatened his military career during an argument and he hit her with a glass in response, then unraveled. An autopsy found blunt force trauma, strangulation, and evidence that Kimberly was smothered to death. Therefore the prosecution argued that Mayo deliberately killed Kimberly when he smothered her to death with a pillow after hitting and strangling her. A panel of five military officers sentenced Montrell Mayo to life in prison without parole.

Related Links:
Local Soldier Found Murdered in Colorado Springs
Soldier from Cincinnati found dead in Colorado hotel
Woman Allegedly Murdered By Fort Carson Soldier Identified
Woman Found Dead In Colorado ID’d As Soldier From Kansas
Woman Allegedly Murdered By Fort Carson Soldier Identified
Family says goodbye to slain Army daughter
Soldier Charged With Murder In Girlfriend’s Death
Soldier charged with murder in girlfriend’s death
Soldier Wanted For Murder In Colorado, Arrested In Greenville
Soldier Charged In Colorado Death Arrested In North Carolina
Soldier Won’t Fight Extradition In Colorado Slaying
Soldier Wanted In Woman’s Death Is Back In Colorado
Affidavit: Soldier strangled by boyfriend after Valentine’s quarrel
Cincinnati soldier killed in Valentine’s Day fight
Court-martial set for soldier in girlfriend’s slaying
Trial Set For Soldier In Girlfriend’s Slaying
Defense: Fort Carson soldier didn’t mean to kill girlfriend
Defense attorneys: Fort Carson soldier charged with murder didn’t intend to kill girlfriend
Fort Carson Soldier’s Murder Trial Nearing End
Colorado Army sergeant convicted of killing his soldier girlfriend
Fort Carson soldier convicted of murder in death of girlfriend
Soldier convicted of murder in girlfriend’s death
Fort Carson soldier convicted of murder in girlfriend’s death
Soldier Faces Life Sentence In Death Of Girlfriend
It’s life without parole for Fort Carson soldier
Soldier sentenced to life in prison for murdering his girlfriend
Soldier Sentenced To Life In Girlfriend’s Slaying
Former Fort Carson soldier sentenced to life for murder of girlfriend
Soldier killed his girlfriend by mistake and then laid her on a bed of roses as an altar claims his attorney
Family: Soldier’s Life Sentence Brings ‘Closure’ After Daughter’s Murder
Army Soldier Kimberly Walker Murdered in Colorado Hotel Room by her Boyfriend Army Soldier Montrell Mayo After Valentine’s Day Quarrel (2013)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Blood Innocence’ on ID: Korean War Hero Carl Taylor Murdered During Robbery in Colorado (September 23, 2014)

A war hero is beaten to death for no apparent reason. The crime scene offers few clues, but Lt Joe Kenda notices an unusual pattern in the victim’s head wounds and enlists a team of engineers to help him identify the murder weapon and crack the case. -Blood Innocence, Homicide Hunter (S4,E6)

,Korean War hero and Air Force veteran Carl Vincent Taylor, 47, of Oklahoma, died of blunt force trauma injuries in Colorado Springs, Colorado on August 14, 1977. In the course of an investigation, Lt. Joe Kenda learned an individual named Eric Kendall was involved in the crime. But after the crime Kendall fled to Pennsylvania where police found him and had him extradited back to Colorado. Eric confessed to the crime and implicated three other individuals. Eric said he and Phil Brown met up with Sonny Evans and Ricky Dillon to plot the robbery. Eric Kendall, Phil Brown and Sonny Evans pleaded guilty to first degree burglary in exchange for their testimony in Ricky Dillon’s trial. The three individuals testified Ricky was the one who attacked and killed Carl Taylor. Kendall, Brown, and Evans were sentenced to 5-7 years in prison. Ricky Dillon was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

“The jury found defendant Ricky Dillon guilty of first degree murder and the trial court sentenced him to death…The death sentence was subsequently reduced to life imprisonment when the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty statute was unconstitutional.” -People v. Dillon (July 13, 1987)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
State of Colorado v. Ricky Dillon (1987)
Blood Innocence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S4,E6)
Blood Innocence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Blood Innocence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Blood Innocence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Homicide Hunter: 10 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Blood Red Highway’ on ID: AWOL Fort Carson Soldier Kills Store Owner Sam Melena for $32 (November 19, 2013)

The elderly owners of a beloved local grocery are brutally attacked and left for dead. Working with little beyond a vague witness description, Lt. Joe Kenda leads a state-wide manhunt to catch a pair of cold-blooded killers before they disappear for good. -Blood Red Highway, Homicide Hunter (S3,E8)

“When people become desperate, it’s very easy to do desperate things.” -Lt. Joe Kenda

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Blood Red Highway | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S3,E8)
Blood Red Highway | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Blood Red Highway | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Blood Red Highway | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Sam & Rosa Melena Found Near Death, Sam Later Died; AWOL Army Soldier Lawrence Todd Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder (November 14, 1978)
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts
Homicide Hunter: 10 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Fort Bragg Army 1SG William Wright Murdered Wife Jennifer While Home on Leave from Deployment in Afghanistan; Died by Suicide in Jail While Awaiting Trial (June 29, 2002)

Forbidden: Dying for Love featured the Jennifer and William Wright 2002 homicide-suicide case on Investigation Discovery. ‘Onward, Christian Soldier’ highlighted the circumstances that lead to the murder of Jennifer Wright and the pain it inflicted on those who were left behind including their three sons. According to the show, William Wright was a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina with his wife and three children. MSgt Wright was routinely deployed after 9/11/2001 and as a result he was never home. Bill’s absence was hard on Jennifer and the marriage. She wanted Bill to leave the Army but the Army was his life; it’s what he was meant to do. While Bill was deployed in Afghanistan, he learned that Jennifer was telling people back home that he divorced her.

Bill was stunned to learn the news and was granted leave to go back stateside and deal with his family crisis. Bill learned Jennifer was having an affair with the pastor at church and she wanted a divorce. Instead of salvaging his marriage, Bill murdered Jennifer in the family home on June 29, 2002 and covered it up. When investigators questioned Bill about Jennifer’s murder, he broke down and told them everything. Bill admitted he hit his wife with a baseball bat and then strangled her to death. He then put her body in a garbage bag and buried her in some woods near Fort Bragg. In 2003, William Wright was in prison awaiting trial when he died by suicide in his jail cell. Jennifer and William’s sons expressed concern that the Army’s anti-malaria drugs negatively impacted their father’s health and was most likely the reason this tragedy occurred.

This domestic violence related homicide was one of five murders that occurred in a six week period at Fort Bragg in 2002. Rigoberto Nieves fatally shot his wife Teresa on June 11, 2002; Cedric Griffin fatally stabbed his wife Marilyn on July 9, 2002; Brandon Floyd fatally shot his wife Andrea on July 19, 2002; and military spouse Joan Shannon manipulated her daughter Elizabeth to shoot her step-father Major David Shannon on July 23, 2002 while he slept.

Source: ‘Onward, Christian Soldier’ Forbidden: Dying for Love

ID Go: While her husband serves in the army, a lonely married mother of three finds comfort in the arms of her church’s charismatic new minister. But danger looms in the form of a jealous love-rival that will stop at nothing to scare her away. -Onward, Christian Soldier, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S4,E4)

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.

Related Links:
Fort Bragg Soldier Admits To Wife’s Murder
Wives’ slayings shock Army at Fort Bragg
Soldiers kill wives after serving in Afghanistan
Murders shake US military
A Base Rocked by Violence
A War at Home | People
Blood on the Home Front | Time
Death in the Ranks at Fort Bragg
4 Wives Slain in 6 Weeks at Ft. Bragg
Fort Bragg’s Deadly Summer | Vanity Fair (December 2002)
Rash of Wife Killings at Ft. Bragg Leaves the Base Wondering Why
Suicide In Fort Bragg Jail (March 24, 2003)
Special Forces Soldier Hangs Himself
Third Bragg soldier took malaria drug
Special Forces soldier charged in wife’s slaying hangs himself
What to Watch on Saturday: A Fayetteville murder on ID, new movies from Hallmark and Lifetime
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S4,E4)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)
Death on the Home Front (2009)

Department of Defense: Statement of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Accident in Vietnam (April 7, 2001)

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Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld today released the following statement (April 7, 2001):

“Americans are saddened by today’s tragic loss of life of both U.S. and Vietnamese service personnel in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Those of us in the Department of Defense, and the families of our missing, are keenly aware of the dedication of both the American and Vietnamese team members who were, on this very day, searching for servicemen who have been missing in action since the end of the war.” 

Read more from the Department of Defense here.

7 Americans, 9 Vietnamese Die in Viet Helo Crash (April 10, 2001):

“The Americans killed in the crash were identified as Army Lt. Col. Rennie M. Cory Jr., commander, Detachment 2, Joint Task Force-Full Accounting; Army Lt. Col. George D. Martin III, incoming commander; Air Force Maj. Charles E. Lewis, deputy commander; Army Sgt. 1st Class Tommy J. Murphy, mortuary affairs team sergeant, Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii; Navy Chief Petty Officer Pedro J. Gonzales, corpsman; and Air Force Master Sgt. Steven L. Moser and Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Flynn, linguists. U.S. Pacific Command officials in Hawaii released the names April 9 at 7 p.m. The Vietnamese dead include the three-member crew and four aircraft technicians. Also killed were two members of the Vietnamese agency that assists U.S. Pacific Command’s Joint Task Force-Full Accounting in its investigation and recovery efforts.”

Read more from the Department of Defense here.

“A Pacific Command investigation into an April 7 helicopter crash that killed seven U.S. servicemen in Vietnam found that deteriorating weather conditions, poor visibility and the Vietnamese pilot’s failure to “properly react” to those conditions were predominant factors in the accident.” –Honolulu Advertiser (October 17, 2001)

Related Links:
Statement of Secretary Rumsfeld on Accident in Vietnam (April 7, 2001)
7 Americans, 9 Vietnamese Die in Viet Helo Crash (April 10, 2001)
US officials mourn Vietnamese helicopter crash victims
U.S. Releases Names of Those Killed in Vietnam Crash
Army, Air Force identify dead in Vietnam crash
Hawaii residents among dead in Vietnam chopper crash
Bodies of 7 returned from Vietnam
Remains of 7 MIA Hunters Return to U.S.
Vietnam crash brings pain to the isle
Never Forgotten: Accounting for American MIAs
Fayetteville Soldier Killed In Helicopter Crash In Vietnam
Virtual Vietnam Veterans In Memory Honor Roll | Rennie Melville Cory Jr.
In Memory of Lt. Col. Rennie Cory Jr
The Bone Collectors | Newsweek
Honoring JTF-FA Heroes
Poor visibility, pilot blamed in Vietnam copter crash
Gone but Never Forgotten

Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Barry Winchell Died of Injuries Sustained in a Baseball Bat Attack in the Barracks; Calvin Glover Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 5, 1999)

Barry Winchell

Pfc. Barry Winchell, U.S. Army (photo: wikipedia)

Vanity Fair Confidential featured an episode called Don’t Ask Don’t Kill on Investigation Discovery highlighting the case of Army Pfc. Barry Winchell at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1999. Winchell was bludgeoned to death by a fellow soldier while he lay asleep in his cot on July 5 in the barracks. Winchell was described by his friends as someone who would give the shirt off his back for you. He was a model soldier and had dreams of becoming a Warrant Officer. He was a member of the elite Screaming Eagles, 101st Airborne and was considered a perfect fit for the military. He was described by fellow soldiers as a 50 caliber expert.

After Barry Winchell died, the military immediately began downplaying what had occurred on base at Fort Campbell. They initially claimed it was a fight that had gone too far. They told the family that Barry Winchell had been kicked in the head with a boot but his injuries did not match that theory. As a result, the family and media outlets were convinced the military was hiding the real story and believed they were trying to cover up the crime. Why? The military concluded that this was a rare soldier on soldier attack in their barracks but the claim that he was kicked in the head did not match the crime scene either. Although the military was tasked with the investigation of the murder, they declined to speculate on a motive.

The Army was not cooperating with anyone. ~Vanity Fair Confidential

When Barry’s girlfriend Calpernia Addams learned about what happened to Barry, he was on life support and considered brain dead. He died twelve hours after the attack and she didn’t get an opportunity to see him. Calpernia learned that he had been murdered on base and believed that there was more to this story then what the Army was sharing. As a result, she set out to make sure both Barry’s parents and the media knew what she knew and suspected had happened. Calpernia was born a boy. She served in the US Navy as a transsexual and then once she got out of the military, she began her transition from man to woman. When Calpernia and Barry met, they hit it off immediately and started dating. When she met Barry, she was halfway to becoming a woman. She lovingly shared that Barry accepted her for who she was and supported her in her transition from man to woman.

Calpernia strongly believed that people were blurring the lines between whether Barry was gay or straight. She wanted people to know that he was straight and he liked women. Calpernia believed that Barry’s troubles began with an anonymous accusation that Barry was gay. She claimed that a fellow soldier said he saw Barry giving oral sex to a man in a Nashville gay bar. But no one believed it and his military comrades didn’t think he was gay.  Calpernia believed that it was Barry’s roommate, Justin Fisher, who started spreading the rumors in an effort to cause harm to Barry. In 1999 the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was in effect and a soldier could in fact lose their career if they were found out. Justin Fisher didn’t have the best reputation. He was described as someone who thought he was a gangster even though he was from Nebraska. And some believed that Justin never should have been allowed to join the military.

According to Calpernia, Justin Fisher and Barry Winchell had a love/hate relationship. Fisher tormented him, joked about his sexuality, about him being a homosexual, and kept calling him a faggot. He told others that he didn’t trust him and eventually openly spread rumors that Barry was gay. Fisher also blackmailed Barry with his alleged homosexuality. He told their Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) about him being gay knowing that Barry could lose his career under the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. Back in those days, once accused of being gay, you were dead in the water in a military setting. Some believe this case reveals that if gone unchecked the military can become an incubator for hate. At the time of DADT, it was virtually impossible to report anti-gay harassment and Barry’s family and friends were not quite sure how he dealt with the regular doses of harassment. As evidenced in this case and many others, he had nowhere to turn without fear of losing his cherished career.

At the time of DADT, it was virtually impossible to report anti-gay harassment without fear of losing your career. ~Vanity Fair Confidential

The military was in charge of the investigation because the crime occurred on a federal base. As with many cases, family, friends, and the media forced the Army to be accountable for what happened on their base on their watch. So as the investigation into Barry’s Winchell’s death continued, we learned what actually  happened. Calvin Glover, an eighteen year old new recruit, was ultimately charged with the murder of Barry Winchell. Observers felt that he did it because of a combination of too many men, too much alcohol, and too little to do. The day before the murder, Calvin and Winchell got into a fight. Apparently Winchell dealt him one punch in the face and he went down. Calvin who was highly intoxicated swore he would get him back but Winchell apologized to him the next day and it appeared that everything was fine. Unfortunately, Justin Fisher (Winchell’s roommate) was provoking Calvin all day long asking him if he was going to take Winchell’s abuse.

That same night after Calvin Glover had consumed seventeen beers, he decided he was going to bed. Fisher went to his room and told him that Barry was telling everyone that he beat him up and they were all laughing about it. Fisher handed Calvin a wooden bat, suggested he hit Barry with it, and Calvin said he felt compelled to use it. In a drunken, peer pressured stupor, Calvin hit Barry Winchell multiple times in the head with the wooden bat. Barry Winchell was asleep and couldn’t defend himself. After Calvin was done hitting Barry, Fisher was laughing, jumping up and down, and told Calvin that they would keep it in the family. Then Calvin immediately began to destroy evidence. Fisher acted like he stumbled upon Winchell on the cot and was trying to help him. The soldiers tried calling 911 but they were not able to get through to emergency services on a base phone. Barry was taken to the hospital and twelve hours later, he was dead. Everyone in the barracks was wondering who would come in the barracks and kill them.

The soldiers tried calling 911 but they were not able to get through to emergency services on a base phone. ~Vanity Fair Confidential

In the course of the investigation, Justin Fisher eventually identified Calvin Glover as the culprit. As a result of Calpernia Addams and others that stepped forward, we learned that there was more to the story underneath the surface. We learned that Justin Fisher had a much larger role in the crime then he was willing to admit. Justin Fisher introduced Calpernia Addams to Barry Winchell. Apparently Justin Fisher was interested in Calpernia Addams and after she chose Barry, he asked her if she would hook him up with one of her drag queen friends. Justin ended up hooking up with Kimmie Mayfield, who was a man. Everyone suspected that Justin was interested in guys because of his relationship with Kimmie. They hooked up several times in the course of a few months. We also learned this wasn’t Justin’s first walk on the wild side. He had a history of experimentation. Barry shared with Calpernia that one time he woke up to Justin playing with his feet. Calpernia deduced that Justin may have been jealous of Calpernia being with Barry or vice versa. It was noted that people tend to hate those who remind them of something they don’t want to face.

In the end about 90% of the soldiers who served with Barry Winchell, Calvin Glover, and Justin Fisher didn’t think this was a hate crime but instead a crime of passion. They did not witness any anti-gay rage; but they did witness too much alcohol. One of the soldiers believed that Justin Fisher also hit Barry Winchell with the bat because of the blood spatter evidence left at the crime scene. It matched someone who was left handed and Fisher was left handed. One of the soldiers mentioned this to Fisher and Fisher told him he was in the wrong career and should be a detective instead. The soldiers who served with them believed that Justin Fisher was the murderer and Calvin Glover was the murder weapon. Calvin felt pressured by Justin Fisher to hit Winchell while he was intoxicated. It is suspected that Fisher hit Winchell with the bat as well and may have been the one that dealt the fatal blows. Calvin participated in the Vanity Fair programming by phone from prison and did in fact express remorse for his role in Barry Winchell’s death.

Both Calvin Glover and Justin Fisher were court martialed. In the end, Calvin Glover was convicted of pre-meditated murder and was sentenced to life in prison with an opportunity for parole. Justin Fisher was charged as an accessory and restricted to his barracks while he was going through trial. Observers felt that it was ridiculous that Fisher was restricted to his barracks when in fact he was the mastermind of the murder. He too was convicted and sentenced to twelve and half years but was released early in 2006 after only serving seven years. Observers felt that Justin Fisher’s sentence was a miscarriage of justice considering it never would have happened if it wasn’t for him pushing Calvin Glover to hit Barry Winchell with the baseball bat that night. Justin Fisher now lives in the Mid-West and declined to comment on this Vanity Fair episode. He walks as a free man. In retrospect, Calvin Glover shared that he feels like this was a love triangle gone wrong and he wishes that he could take it all back.

At the end of the programming, Pat and Wally Kutteles (Barry’s parents) shared that they sent their son off to serve in the military, they did not send him off to be beaten to death with a bat while he was sleeping. Dixon Osborn from the Servicemen’s Legal Defense Network (SLDN) believed that the military simply wanted to sweep it under the rug with no connection to the gay reference. The military hoped the general public, the media, and Barry’s parents would just accept that it was a drunken brawl. All those involved felt like the military investigation was a joke. Calpernia Addams, Barry’s parents and friends, and the SLDN wanted to honor Barry’s memory by exposing the truth about Barry’s untimely death. They used Barry Winchell’s case as a catalyst to lift the dangerous Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. According to those involved, President Bill Clinton’s DADT policy was the biggest mistake ever for the military because it taught people to lie. At the peak of DADT, there were 3-4 soldiers discharged per day for their sexual orientation. DADT was a failure of the Clinton administration.

All those involved felt like the military investigation was a joke. ~Vanity Fair Confidential

In an interesting twist, the Commander who was in charge at the time of the death of Barry Winchell sparked protest in Washington DC in 2000 when he was reassigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. In response, Eric Shinseki, the Army’s Chief of Staff, stated that General Clark’s command at Fort Campbell had been “distinguished by great competence and compassionate leadership. The Army has placed its trust and confidence in Major General Clark and I am confident he will continue to excel in service to our nation.” The military concluded in a public statement that this was the first gay bashing murder in over ten years and that soldier on soldier violence was rare. In October 1999, President Clinton signed an executive order increasing penalties for hate crimes in the military justice code and allowed a sentencing authority to hear evidence that a violent crime was based on race, color or sexual orientation. However, the order only applied to crimes committed after Nov. 30, 1999.

Barry Winchell’s parents lobbied with the SLDN to help change the DADT policy after losing their son. Even though their son was not gay, he was accused of being gay which eventually led to his death.  Roughly ten years later in 2010, President Barack Obama signed a historic bill ending the DADT policy, a policy that compelled gay and lesbian service members to hide their sexual orientation. The ending of the policy made it official for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the Armed Forces. President Obama said he “hopes all those who left the service because of the policy will seek to re-enlist. And he encouraged all gays to consider service.” Although, gays and lesbians were cautioned to keep their identity to themselves until the law was official in 2011. This comes as one of the first major actions by Secretary Defense Leon Panetta, who had been on the job for three weeks. SecDef Panetta also lifted the ban on women in combat in 2013. Our military is now officially equal in all respects.

Related Links:
Pfc Barry L Winchell Memorial Page | Facebook
American Justice: A Soldier’s Secret
Don’t Ask, Don’t Kill: Inside the Murder of Soldier Barry Winchell | Vanity Fair
The Barry Winchell Case Helped End the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy in the Military
Showtime Entertainment Released ‘Soldier’s Girl’: Based on the True Story of the Murder of Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Barry Winchell (January 20, 2003)
15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System
Pentagon is accused of cover-up in gay murder at army base
Witness: Private Admitted Killing | AP
Hate May Have Triggered Fatal Barracks Beating
DoD Clarifies “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy
Army Private Guilty Of Murder
Army private found guilty of planned murder
Oklahoman convicted Army says Sulphur man guilty in other’s murder
Soldier Gets Life With Parole | Associated Press
Soldier Gets Life with Parole | Chicago Tribune
Soldier guilty of lesser charge in base death
Soldier Gets 12 1/2 Years in Prison for His Role in Beating Death
A statement on the murder of Private First Class Barry Winchell
Army Exonerates Officers In Slaying of Gay Private
Commanders cleared in fort murder of gay soldier
Army Report: Base Not Anti-Gay
Military Gay Policy Defended
Family of murdered gay soldier sues U.S. Army for wrongful death
Mother Plans to Sue Army After Son Beaten to Death
For Love of Country | SFGate
Gay dismissals up after Army death
Gay discharges on rise in Army and Navy
Nomination of former Fort Campbell commander in limbo
Congressional Record Volume 149, Number 167 (Tuesday, November 18, 2003)
Bush Re-Nominates Controversial Major General to High Post
Major General Robert Clark: Promoted
Military prosecutor says soldier hated gays
Parents of murdered Army private speak out
Former soldier convicted in Winchell murder released
Army releases soldier convicted in connection with anti-gay murder
Army Releases Barry Winchell Murder Conspirator, 5 Years Early
Gays in the Military: Does a Sailor’s Murder Signal Deeper Problems?
Commentary: Murdered soldier’s parents know ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is wrong
Commentary: Murdered soldier’s parents know ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is wrong
Murdered soldier’s parents: Repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
Remembering Pfc. Barry Winchell on the 10th Anniversary of His Murder
Episode features Winchell story
Patricia Kutteles was a military mother who helped repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
Patricia Kutteles, Driven by Tragedy to End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Patricia Kutteles, military mother who helped repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ dies at 67
Episode 12 The Murder of PFC Barry Winchell: Casualty and Martyr of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell | Southern Fried True Crime Podcast
Episode 32: The Murder of Barry Winchell (Part 1) | Military Murder Podcast
Ep33. MURDER: The Murder of Barry Winchell (Part 2) | Military Murder Podcast
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)

Fort Carson Army Spc. Layne Schmidtke Died From Blunt Force Trauma in Unprovoked Street Fight; Six Teenagers Convicted for Roles in Murder (September 22, 1991)

Soldier and young father Layne Schmidtke is brutally beaten to death by a mob of teenagers. Kenda must reconstruct the chaotic scene through forensic evidence and witness testimonies, which reveals an unlikely suspect as the murderous ringleader. -Slaughterhouse Six, Homicide Hunter (S2, E5)

On September 21, 1991, Layne Schmidtke was found near death on the streets of Colorado Springs, Colorado just before midnight. Layne was transported to the hospital where he later died of blunt force trauma. The death was a result of what was believed to be a street fight gone bad. Lt. Joe Kenda needed to find out why this happened. What were the dynamics that lead to the fight? Investigators wanted to speak with witnesses and found Joseph Reeves at the scene of the crime who admitted he was with Layne when the fight began. Joseph and Layne were great friends and he described Layne as a nice guy and married father of twin daughters. There appeared to be no reason for the brutal attack. Kenda and fellow officers found some individuals with blood on their clothing but until they had more information, it wasn’t enough to arrest them.

Joseph Reeves helped Lt. Joe Kenda understand what happened on the night they were randomly attacked. He said they went out and grabbed some dinner and were on their way home when they were confronted by a group of teens. The trash talk lead to a fight and Layne was punched in the face which resulted in him falling to the ground. Joseph Reeves was able to extricate himself from the fight but in the chaos realized Layne was still under attack. The group of teens were beating and kicking him while he was on the ground. An ambulance arrived on the scene and this ended the fight and the participants scattered. Kenda said it appeared Layne was attacked without any provocation whatsoever. Kenda wanted to know why these kids were motivated to harm Layne? Reeves didn’t know who attacked them during the fight. It all happened so fast.

Kenda learned that Layne Schmidtke and Joseph Reeves were in the Army and served together with the 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado. Kenda wondered if Layne was attacked because he was a soldier. Kenda found another eye witness at the scene of the crime: Dan Davis. Davis told him that the group of teens who attacked Layne were from the local high school. Kenda learned these were good kids who came from good homes so it was surprising to learn of their involvement in this crime. Davis admitted yelling “COPS!” hoping to break up the fight and the group of teens did indeed scatter. Davis said he didn’t know the names of the individuals in the fight. The police collected evidence from the scene and Kenda went back to the station to speak with the individuals found with blood on their clothing.

The first teen they spoke to didn’t fit the modus operandi of someone who would beat a soldier to death. This teen’s dad was an Army soldier himself and this kid was more likely to join the Army, then beat someone serving in the Army. This teen was not able to identify suspects involved in the fight. But nonetheless, Joe Kenda wanted to test the blood on his clothing to determine who it belonged to. Next Kenda spoke with Anthony Phenix and Kevin Moore. When Kenda questioned Anthony, Anthony admitted the blood on his clothing came from the chaos of the fight. He said he was accidentally dragged into the fight and was hit and hit others but he didn’t know who he was fighting. Kenda needed more information and interviewed Anthony Moore next.

Kevin Moore said he was drunk and passed out in the backseat of a car when someone awoke him to inform him of the fight. Kevin went to the scene and admitted dragging Anthony Phenix from the brawl. So far all the individuals involved in the fight made it appear they were accidentally involved in the fight. Kenda collected the bloody clothing from all three suspects and sent it to the lab to be analyzed. Then Kenda got a call from a witness who claimed she was being threatened if she said anything to the cops. Kenda questioned this high school student to learn more. She said she didn’t see anything but she heard a friend admit that they ‘killed the dude’ while they were on their way home after the fight. She gave Kenda the individual’s name. His name was Dominic Peres.

Kenda had probable cause now because Dominic threatened a witness, a felony crime. They went to Dominic’s home to confront him about the incident. Dominic denied any involvement in the fight. He claimed he was down town but he never saw an assault. Kenda wanted to collect his clothing as evidence but Dominic’s mother admitted she washed the bloody clothing the day before. Before leaving their home, Kenda observed the shoes Dominic was wearing had blood on them. As a result, Dominic was arrested and taken to the County lock-up. Kenda now had to determine who did what that fatal night and had to sift through all the lies. Kenda wasn’t about to let anyone get away with this level of extreme violence. There were now four suspects in custody while they waited for the results from the lab.

Meanwhile, Kenda went to the high school and the principal provided Kenda with a group of female students who witnessed the fight. They were able to provide Kenda with the circumstances that lead to the deadly fight. Apparently these same teens fought with two other Army soldiers in a car, not Layne and Joseph. The GIs were hitting on the girls and the teens were trying to run them off. They drove away. When the teens noticed two other individuals who looked like GIs, they decided to take out their anger on these two unsuspecting individuals. The teens told them to get off their turf and then struck Layne first. They wanted revenge on a pair of soldiers and any two soldiers would do. Kenda finally understood what happened that night; these teens were looking for trouble. But Kenda still needed to find out who was responsible for the attack.

The teen high school students were able to tell Kenda exactly who was involved. A new name was dropped that he hadn’t heard yet. Kenda asked who threw the first punch and it wasn’t Dominic as suspected; it was Anthony Phenix, a star quarterback high school football player. Kevin Moore, Dominic Peres and Shawn Stancil all jumped in the fight and started punching and kicking Layne while he was on the ground. They also identified two more teens involved: Robert Dean and Daniel Davis. Kenda remembered Davis was the helpful teen at the crime scene and at the time they had no idea he was involved in the fight too. Kenda went to Davis’ home and confronted him with the new information. Davis continued to lie to them but cracked and finally offered a confession, claiming he only kicked him once in the feet area. Davis was arrested and in placed in custody.

Kenda searched for the sixth suspect: Robert Dean. Kenda confronted Dean and he denied everything but Kenda observed blood on his shoes as well. Dean was arrested and placed in custody too. The blood analysis from the lab came back and the results were mixed. Nonetheless, all six suspects were charged with murder because of the eye witness testimony. Three were juveniles and three were adults but they were all charged as adults. Daniel Davis and Robert Dean were each sentenced to several years of probation; Robert Dean had violated the terms of his probation and was sentenced to three years. Kevin Moore was sentenced to 12 years of hard time in prison. Shawn Stancil and Dominic Peres receive sixteen years in prison. And Anthony Phenix, the guy who started the fight, was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 24 years in prison. The police believe no one intended to kill anyone that night but their collective actions resulted in the untimely death of Army Pfc. Layne Schmidtke.

Source: Slaughterhouse Six, Homicide Hunter, Investigation Discovery

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
SPC Layne Thomas Schmidtke (1966-1991) – Find A Grave
Soldier Pummeled as Group of Teen-Agers Looks On
Faribault mother can’t understand Colorado killing of her soldier son
Murder of soldier Layne Schmidtke by teens who stomped on his head investigated by Joe Kenda
Slaughterhouse Six | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S2,E5)
Slaughterhouse Six | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Slaughterhouse Six | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Slaughterhouse Six | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado
Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Slaughterhouse Six’ on ID: Army Spc. Layne Schmidtke Beat to Death in Unprovoked, Random Attack (November 6, 2012)