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.