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November 21, 2014 at 9:41 AM

JBLM soldier demoted for threatening reporter’s wife

The Associated Press

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD — A soldier who threatened a reporter’s wife was demoted by an Army judge Thursday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera was demoted one rank to staff sergeant.

The News Tribune reports the ruling means the 33-year-old can stay in the Army or soon be eligible for early retirement.

Barbera once faced a possible life sentence on charges that he killed two unarmed boys in 2007 in Iraq as they herded cattle.

Barbera said it was a combat decision. Those murder charges were dropped in September.

A Pittsburgh paper, The Tribune-Review, had published an investigation of the shooting in 2012. Barbera called the reporter’s house and threatened his wife when she answered the phone.

Barbera pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of communicating a threat.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: communicating a threat, demotion, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

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