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"This is the third time in the past two years that a Washington-based soldier back from Iraq has been accused of killing his wife," noted the Seattle Times Friday in reporting the murder of Nabila Bare, whose body was discovered on Jul. 12 in the apartment she shared with her husband in the Clarkdale Housing area of Fort Lewis. [1]  --  Nabila Bare was 18 when she died. -- Her husband, Brandon Bare, a U.S. Army infantryman whose wound earlier this year in Iraq earned him a Purple Heart, is 19.  --  Spc. Bare is from Wilkesboro, N.C.  --  Ever since four women were killed by their soldier husbands in the Fort Bragg, N.C., area in the summer of 2002, the agencies of the U.S. Dept. of Defense (the world's largest employer of psychologists) are supposed to have improved how they "reintegrate our soldiers," as Brig. Gen. Steven P. Schook put it as he announced "a sweeping overhaul of how [the Army] will help soldiers returning from combat duty and other overseas tours to readjust to civilian society" (Eric Schmitt, "New Army Rules on Ways to Cope with Civilian Life," New York Times, May 15, 2003, p. A31).  --  There was little sign of any such "sweeping overhaul" in discussions of Nabila Bare's death, however.  --  There seemed to be, rather, a certain complacency: "'We have had increases in domestic violence after they [soldiers] return, but also prior to deployment as people start sorting out how they feel about their relationship,' said Billie Stewart, the family-advocacy manager at Fort Lewis," Hal Bernton of the Seattle Times reported.  --  "'I think that this is probably true with most installations. It's not unique to us.'"  --  According to the "Army-wide standards" set in 2003 by a "new program," soldiers "who have returned to their home bases" are supposed to "remain with their units for 10 to 14 days to participate in postwar stress management classes and marital workshops before taking time off" (Schmitt, "New Army Rules").  --  In this case, "Stewart said Bare was not involved in any of the base's family-advocacy programs aimed at preventing domestic violence"?  --  Hal Bernton writes: "[Billie Steward] said Bare was involved in a separate program that offers counseling and other treatment through the Behavioral Health Department of Madigan Army Medical Center"; it is also asserted that soldiers receive "numerous briefings about the possible difficulties they face in readjusting to domestic life back on base."[1]  --  AP reported that "The dead woman's father, William Neverette, also a soldier stationed at Fort Lewis, said little about the case except that his daughter 'was a very sweet young woman . . . full of life' and planning to attend Lakes High School [in Lakewood, WA] in the fall to complete her senior year."[2]  --  Brandon Bare has been in the Army since he was 17, AP reported:  "He was treated for head injuries after being thrown from a vehicle by a bomb explosion in Iraq and was left with hearing difficulties and other problems, said Miguel Angel Lorian, who helped rear him in North Carolina.  'He came back here about a month ago to visit, and he was different,' Lorian said.  'He was not all right.'"  --  Mike Gilbert of the News Tribune (Tacoma, WA) reported Friday that Spc. Bare was wounded in March 2005, and returned to Fort Lewis in April.[3]  --  Gilbert offered details about legal proceedings pending against him, and from what he writes it would certainly appear that there is something about this case that the military is attempting to hide:  "Officials declined to release the cause and manner of her death. . . . Under the military criminal justice system, a soldier’s commander, in consultation with Army lawyers, decides whether to pursue charges.  In Bare’s case, the rear detachment commander of his unit, the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, pressed the charge. . . . Post officials said the Army would conduct an autopsy.  The Pierce County medical examiner typically performs autopsies in unattended deaths at Fort Lewis.  But in this case the Army decided to conduct its own post-mortem examination, officials said. Bare’s prosecution will likewise be handled within the military criminal justice system, rather than in the civilian federal courts, post spokesman JC Mathews said Thursday."  --  He also noted: "The post misspelled the victim’s name [as 'Navila'] in its news release about the case Wednesday," correcting mistakes in an AP story that appeared the day before.[4]  --  The story by Michael Gilbert published in Thursday's News Tribune gave an even stronger impression of a cover-up.  --  Gilbert wrote emphatically: "Access to the military base is restricted and reporters were not permitted to go to the neighborhood to talk to residents who might have known Bare, as they would in any civilian community.  --  Nor were reporters given access to Fort Lewis law enforcement officials.  --  Lt. Col. William Costello, the post’s public affairs officer, said he was not permitted to provide any additional information beyond the news release.  --  As a result, basic information about the apparent slaying remains unknown to the public: on what basis police are holding the suspect, when police think it happened, whether the person in custody was known to the victim and whether others are being sought in connection with the case."[5]  --  Spc. Bare was wounded while assigned to the Stryker brigade in Mosul.[4,5]  --  A web search shows that there is a Brandon Bare who has a "new student web site" on UW Tacoma server, but the site is without content....

1.

Local News

SOLDIER CHARGED IN WIFE'S DEATH
By Hal Bernton

Seattle Times
July 15, 2005

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002382713_fortlewis15m.html

Spc. Brandon Bare returned from Iraq in April, sidelined by a wound that earned him a Purple Heart.

Yesterday, the Army charged the 19-year-old Fort Lewis soldier with the premeditated murder of his 18-year-old wife.

Nabila Bare's body was found Tuesday in the couple's apartment in the Clarkdale Housing area of the base.

Army officials took her husband into custody that same day. No details were released about how Nabila Bare was killed.

This is the third time in the past two years that a Washington-based soldier back from Iraq has been accused of killing his wife.

The slaying comes as Fort Lewis has stepped up efforts to ease the strains on soldiers as they depart for -- and return from -- combat tours of duty.

"We have had increases in domestic violence after they [soldiers] return, but also prior to deployment as people start sorting out how they feel about their relationship," said Billie Stewart, the family-advocacy manager at Fort Lewis. "I think that this is probably true with most installations. It's not unique to us."

Stewart said Bare was not involved in any of the base's family-advocacy programs aimed at preventing domestic violence. She said Bare was involved in a separate program that offers counseling and other treatment through the Behavioral Health Department of Madigan Army Medical Center.

Stewart didn't specify what type of services Bare received.

Fort Lewis, located south of Tacoma, has more than 26,700 soldiers, with another 13,200 family members living in base housing. In recent years, many Fort Lewis soldiers have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bare, an infantryman from Wilkesboro, N.C., is assigned to the 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. The division was sent last November to the volatile northern Iraq city of Mosul.

Members of the brigade, who patrol in eight-wheeled Stryker vehicles, have been in the thick of combat and suffered hundreds of casualties. Fort Lewis officials yesterday said that Bare sustained injuries in March that led to his early return to the base, where he was reassigned.

Officials declined to offer details on the killing, other than to stress that this is "merely an accusation and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty."

Miguel Angel Lorian, who helped raise Bare in North Carolina, said that he suffered head injuries in Iraq after being thrown from a vehicle by a bomb explosion.

Since his return, Bare has had hearing difficulties and other problems related to the injury, according to Lorian, the former husband of Bare's mother. "He came back here about a month ago to visit, and he was different. He was not all right," Lorian said.

As Bare and other soldiers return from Iraq, they get numerous briefings about the possible difficulties they face in readjusting to domestic life back on base.

The family-advocacy program, which this year boosted its staff from 14 to 19 people, is involved in education and prevention. It offers aid to people who might be vulnerable to domestic violence, and also helps victims deal with child custody, divorce and other issues.

"We have a lot of good programs for the families and soldiers," Stewart said. "Some of them take advantage of it. But do all of them -- no."

The risks of domestic violence at Army bases were underscored by four homicides in 2002 involving active-duty soldiers and their spouses at Fort Bragg, N.C. Those cases led to an extensive Army review that concluded the Army should do more to support soldiers and their families.

Stewart said Fort Lewis closely tracks all cases of domestic violence and does a good job of identifying many problems before they become too serious.

Bare's slaying appears to be the first on base property for at least five years, according to Army officials.

On two other occasions, Washington-based soldiers who returned to Iraq through Fort Lewis were convicted of killing their spouses off base.

In February, Sgt. Matthew Denni, a southwest Washington Army reservist, was convicted of second-degree murder for the November 2003 shooting of his wife, Kimberly Denni.

Prosecutors had sought to convict him of first-degree murder. But the jury convicted him of second-degree murder -- meaning that the killing was not premeditated. Defense attorneys argued that Denni's violent experiences in Iraq might have helped trigger the crime of passion.

This spring, Sgt. 1st Class James Pitts, a Fort Lewis soldier who had served in Iraq, was convicted of first-degree murder for the bathroom drowning of his wife, Tara Pitts, off base. [NOTE: On this case, see a collection of articles from the News Tribune (Tacoma, WA) and the Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, OH) posted on this web site: "I thank George Bush for making my son a killing machine," the father of a soldier who is said to have confessed to killing his wife in Lakewood said on Thursday (4/22/04) at his home in Ohio. "All he could talk about was how many people he killed over there and how easy he could do it," James Pitts Sr. said. "He said he ran over kids and everything over there. . . . He went to Iraq, and he was fine. He came back a monster. How many more monsters are going to come back?" --D.Q.]

Since the death of Nabila Bare occurred on base, Brandon Bare will be tried under military law.

--Hal Bernton: 206-464-2581 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

--Researchers Miyoko Wolf and David Turim contributed to this report.

2.

Local News

FORT LEWIS SOLDIER WHO WAS WOUNDED IN IRAQ HELD IN WIFE'S DEATH

Washington AP Wire
July 15, 2005

http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8BBRB800.html

A soldier who received the Purple Heart after being wounded in Iraq and returned to Fort Lewis in April has been charged with premeditated murder in the death of his wife, Army officials said.

Spc. Brandon Bare, 19, of Wilkesboro, N.C., was arrested Tuesday and jailed at the Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Lewis following the discovery of the body of his wife, Nabila Bare, 18, at the couple's home in the Clarkdale housing area on the post south of Tacoma.

Army officials would not say how she died or whether the couple had history of domestic violence.

Prosecution will be handled within the military justice system, rather than in civilian courts, post spokesman JC Mathews said Thursday.

The dead woman's father, William Neverette, also a soldier stationed at Fort Lewis, said little about the case except that his daughter "was a very sweet young woman ... full of life" and planning to attend Lakes High School in the fall to complete her senior year.

Bare was assigned to Fort Lewis in November 2003 after receiving his initial training at Fort Benning, Ga., and was sent to Iraq last fall as a member of the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, the Stryker Brigade.

He was treated for head injuries after being thrown from a vehicle by a bomb explosion in Iraq and was left with hearing difficulties and other problems, said Miguel Angel Lorian, who helped rear him in North Carolina.

"He came back here about a month ago to visit, and he was different," Lorian said. "He was not all right."

Military officials would not comment on Bare's injury or condition following treatment for his war wounds.

It was the third time in the past two years that a Washington-based soldier back from Iraq has been accused of killing his wife but apparently the first killing at Fort Lewis in at least five years, Army officials said.

"We have had increases in domestic violence after they return but also prior to deployment as people start sorting out how they feel about their relationship," said Billie Stewart, family advocacy manager at Fort Lewis. "I think that this is probably true with most installations. It's not unique to us."

Bare was not involved in any family advocacy programs designed to prevent domestic violence at the base but was involved in a separate program that offers counseling and other treatment through the Behavioral Health Department at neighboring Madigan Army Medical Center, Stewart said.

Army Reserve Sgt. Matthew J. Denni, 39, of Battle Ground, was convicted in February of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison for the shooting of his wife, Kimberly Faye Denni, 37, in November 2003.

Denni was charged with first-degree murder, but a jury found him guilty of the lesser offense after defense lawyers argued that his experiences in Iraq might have helped trigger a crime of passion.

Last month Sgt. 1st Class James Kevin Pitts, 32, of Sheffield Lake, Ohio, was sentenced to 20 years for first-degree murder in the bathroom drowning of his wife, Tara Pitts, 28. She was killed in April 2004 weeks after Pitts returned to Fort Lewis after serving Iraq.

Both of those cases were prosecuted in civilian courts because the killings did not occur on a military base.

3.

SOLDIER CHARGED WITH MURDER
By Michael Gilbert

** Fort Lewis infantryman, 19, wounded in Iraq, held in killing of wife, 18 **

News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
July 15, 2005

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/5023345p-4583084c.html

U.S. military authorities have charged a 19-year-old Fort Lewis soldier with premeditated murder in the death of his 18-year-old wife, officials said Thursday.

Spc. Brandon Bare, an infantryman who was wounded in Iraq, was being held in the Army post’s Regional Correctional Facility, a Fort Lewis news release said.

Nabila Bare’s body was found Tuesday in the couple’s home in the Clarkdale family housing area on post, the Army said. Officials declined to release the cause and manner of her death.

The post misspelled the victim’s name in its news release about the case Wednesday.

Nabila Bare’s father, William Neverette, who’s also a soldier stationed at Fort Lewis, said his family is in too much pain to talk about what happened. He and his wife have two other children, Nabila’s younger brothers.

Neverette declined to say much about the case Thursday except that his daughter “was a very sweet young woman.”

She was planning to attend Lakes High School in the fall to complete her senior year, he said.

“She was full of life, and for someone to take that away ripped my heart out,” Neverette said. “She was a very loving person, and a lot people loved her.”

The Army continued Thursday to withhold many details about the case. Fort Lewis officials said military police are continuing to investigate.

Bare, of Wilkesboro, N.C., was detained Tuesday and has been confined since then.

Under the military criminal justice system, a soldier’s commander, in consultation with Army lawyers, decides whether to pursue charges. In Bare’s case, the rear detachment commander of his unit, the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, pressed the charge, a Fort Lewis spokesman said.

The battalion has been deployed in Mosul, Iraq, since last fall with the rest of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division -- Fort Lewis’ second Stryker brigade.

Officials said Bare was wounded in an explosion in March and returned to Fort Lewis in April. He came to the local post in November 2003 after initial training at Fort Benning, Ga.

A post spokesman said he could not release information about the soldier’s injuries or his treatment due to privacy regulations.

Officials likewise declined to say whether the young couple had a history of domestic violence.

At least three other women and a child have died since 2003 in domestic violence cases involving Fort Lewis soldiers.

Post officials said the Army would conduct an autopsy. The Pierce County medical examiner typically performs autopsies in unattended deaths at Fort Lewis. But in this case the Army decided to conduct its own post-mortem examination, officials said.

Bare’s prosecution will likewise be handled within the military criminal justice system, rather than in the civilian federal courts, post spokesman JC Mathews said Thursday.

--Michael Gilbert: 253-597-8921

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4.

FORT LEWIS MUM ON WOMAN'S DEATH

Associated Press
July 14, 2005

http://159.54.227.3/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050714/NEWS/507140304

FORT LEWIS -- A suspect has been arrested in the death of an 18-year-old Army wife whose body was found in a housing area on this Army post, but military officials are saying little else.

The victim was identified by the Army as Navila Bare, wife of Spc. Brandon Bare, an infantryman with the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division -- Fort Lewis' second Stryker brigade.

A recipient of the Purple Heart in addition to other Army service medals, he returned from Iraq in April, the Army said in a short statement Wednesday evening.

Officials would not say why Bare returned to Fort Lewis with six months to go in his brigade's yearlong stint in Iraq, the News Tribune in Tacoma reported.

The woman's body was found Tuesday in the Clarkdale government housing area, Lt. Col. William Costello said earlier. The Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office was conducting an autopsy.

In its statement Wednesday, the Army said the investigation continues and no charges have been filed.

5.

WOMAN KILLED AT FORT LEWIS IDENTIFIED
By Michael Gilbert

News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
July 14, 2005

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/5020606p-4581016c.html

Military police have arrested a suspect in the death of a woman in a Fort Lewis housing area, but officials Wednesday released few other details about the case.

They identified the woman as Navila Bare, 18. Her husband, Spc. Brandon Bare, is an infantryman with the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division -- Fort Lewis’ second Stryker brigade. He’s a Purple Heart recipient who came home early from Iraq in April.

Fort Lewis officials refused to identify the person in custody or release any information about the cause and manner of Bare’s death.

“The investigation continues, and no charges have been levied,” said a six-sentence news release the post issued just after 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Officials would not say why Spc. Bare returned home to Fort Lewis with six months still to go in his brigade’s yearlong deployment to Iraq.

He was assigned to the brigade’s 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment at Fort Lewis in November 2003 after initial training at Fort Benning, Ga.

He couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday night.

His wife’s body was found Tuesday in the Clarkdale housing area on post, officials said.

Access to the military base is restricted and reporters were not permitted to go to the neighborhood to talk to residents who might have known Bare, as they would in any civilian community.

Nor were reporters given access to Fort Lewis law enforcement officials.

Lt. Col. William Costello, the post’s public affairs officer, said he was not permitted to provide any additional information beyond the news release.

As a result, basic information about the apparent slaying remains unknown to the public: on what basis police are holding the suspect, when police think it happened, whether the person in custody was known to the victim and whether others are being sought in connection with the case.

Also unknown is anything more about Navila Bare, such as where she is from or whether she is survived by any children.

She is the third Fort Lewis wife to die by foul play in the past two years.

• In April 2004, James Pitts drowned his 28-year-old wife Tara in the bathtub at their Lakewood apartment. He’d just returned from a yearlong deployment in Iraq with an engineer battalion.

Tara Pitts had reported her husband’s extramarital affair with another soldier to his commanding officer, and obtained a domestic violence protection order.

Pitts was convicted of murder and sentenced last month to 20 years in prison.

• In July 2003, Jessica Meyers, 21, was strangled and left in a car on Tacoma’s Ruston Way. Her husband, Jeremy Meyers, 22, and his friend, Christopher Baber, 21, were convicted in the killing.

Meyers was sentenced to 41 years in prison, Baber 81/2. The two were assigned to an infantry battalion that was to be deployed to Iraq three months after the killing.

Michael Gilbert: 253-597-8921

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.