Soldier charged in Afghan killings is kept in solitary
The soldier who tried to blow the whistle on an alleged plot to kill Afghan civilians for sport has been put in solitary confinement in...
The Associated Press
The soldier who tried to blow the whistle on an alleged plot to kill Afghan civilians for sport has been put in solitary confinement in a windowless cell for 23 hours a day, his family said.
The father of Spc. Adam Winfield is objecting to the conditions at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and wants the soldier moved to a different facility.
Christopher Winfield said his son was separated from other defendants in the case about a month ago after he reported being threatened by one of them.
He's been in protective solitary custody since then, but conditions grew markedly worse last week when he was moved from a cell with access to a common area and television to one he's locked in nearly all the time, his father said.
Base spokeswoman Maj. Jenny Willis said she could not discuss specifics of Winfield's pretrial confinement, but said he is being treated humanely and that "everything that's been done has been for his security and his safety."
Winfield, 22, is one of five soldiers charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder in what prosecutors describe as random attacks on Afghan civilians during patrols in January, February and May.
The charges are among the most gruesome to emerge from the Afghan war.
After the first killing, Winfield sent troubled Facebook messages home to his parents, telling them that soldiers in his unit had deliberately killed one civilian — "some innocent guy about my age just farming" — and planned to kill more.
He told his family he was being threatened to keep him quiet about the plot.
His father made several calls from the family's home in Cape Coral, Fla., to military officials at Lewis-McChord after receiving the messages and said he begged them to intervene.
His phone records reflect the calls, including a 12-minute conversation with someone at the base's incident-command center. The Army says it's investigating how the calls were handled.
Three of the other defendants in the case are in general-population custody at military facilities in Washington, and the alleged ringleader, Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, is being held at a nearby civilian jail to separate him from the other defendants.
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