Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera, who is charged with two counts of premeditated murder stemming from an incident in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, is being transferred to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to face military justice, according to an I CORPS news release.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord issued a news statement Friday saying that Barbera, 31, had been charged with two counts of murder in connection with the shootings of two civilians near the village of As Sadah in the Diyala province on March 6, 2007. Barbera was assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at the time of the shootings, according to the Lewis-McChord statement.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Barbera is accused of killing two deaf, unarmed Iraqi youths, then lying to his commanders about what happened.
He is currently assigned to 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
Barbera is not in pre-trial confinement and is pending transfer to the Tacoma-area base, the news release said.
A date has not been set for Barbera’s Article 23 investigation, which is to determine if he will be court-martialed.