Soldier to face charges at JBLM in deaths of teens in Iraq

Staff writerNovember 17, 2013 

The Army is preparing to prosecute at Joint Base Lewis-McChord an Alaska-based soldier who allegedly killed two deaf Iraqi boys six years ago.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera, 31, will face a mandatory life sentence if he is convicted of murdering the two teenagers. He also is accused of two counts of conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, the Army announced Friday.

Barbera was with the 5th Squadron of the 73rd Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment out of Fort Bragg, N.C., in Iraq’s Diyala Province when he allegedly killed Ahmad Khalid al-Timmimi, 15, and his brother Abbas, 14.

The killings were exposed last year by a Pittsburgh Tribune review of accounts from soldiers who served with Barbera.

The whistle-blowers told the newspaper that they believed the deaths of the brothers prompted retaliatory attacks that killed 10 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division.

The Army has not announced a date for Barbera’s pretrial Article 32 hearing.

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