Soldier from Kingwood held in slayings of 2 GIs in Iraq

September 28, 2010 4:41:54 PM PDT
A local soldier is in custody in connection with the shooting deaths of two service members and the injury of another. We learned that Spc. Neftaly Platero has family in Kingwood and is a graduate of Kingwood High School. He is also a young man who enlisted into the Marine Corps right out of high school.

Neighbors in Kingwood didn't know much about Platero. He was someone seen only occasionally.

No one answered the door at the home believed to be where Platero's sister lives. The US Army is not releasing a picture of Platero, but we were able to find out a few things.

Platero is a native of Honduras and became a naturalized US citizen. His home is listed as being in Kingwood.

The same year he graduated Kingwood High School in 2000, Platero enlisted in the US Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve. He transferred in 2005 into the Texas Army National Guard and enlisted in 2006 into active Army duty. He was assigned to the 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, in Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Platero is accused of shooting and killing Pfc. Gebrah Noonan of Watertown, Connecticut, and another service member, Spc. John Carrillo Jr. of Stockton, California, after an argument.

Platero is also accused of shooting and wounding a third US soldier whose name has not been released.

The shooting, confirms the military, happened last week in Fallujah, which is about 40 miles west of Baghdad.

Guy Womack is a defense lawyer specializing in military law. He has successfully defended soldiers accused of murdering other soldiers. He says, according to military law, Platero faces the possibility of a general court marshal. And there are several defenses against a murder charge.

"Perhaps he was confronted by armed individuals. If he had a weapon, I would assume the other soldiers had weapons. They outnumbered him. It might have been self defense," Womack said. "It may be he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or some other event or mental episode at the time."

While charges have not been filed in this case, a charge of murder can carry a death penalty in military court.

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