Topeka Two soldiers were charged with first-degree murder Wednesday for the shooting death of a fellow Fort Riley soldier who recently had returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq.
Officials in Clay County charged Sgts. Aaron Stanley, 22, of Bismarck, N.D., and Eric Colvin, 23, of Papillion, Neb., in connection with the killing Monday night of Staff Sgt. Matthew Werner, 30, of Oxnard, Calif. The shooting took place at a home west of Clay Center, about 30 miles from Fort Riley.
Werner had returned to Fort Riley about a month ago for surgery on a hand that was injured during a game of football in Iraq. He was married and had won the Army Achievement Medal for his service.
A hearing was set for Nov. 3 for Stanley and Colvin in Clay Center. In addition, the two were charged with attempted first-degree murder for the shooting of Spec. Christopher Hymer, 23, of Nevada, Mo., who is in critical condition in a Wichita hospital.
Stanley also faces eight unrelated drug charges filed June 15 in Pottawatomie County. A court date is scheduled Oct. 7.
Authorities with the Clay County attorney and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said the shooting took place between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday. KBI spokesman Kyle Smith said Stanley rented the home and he was believed to have called police about the shooting.
Two weapons, a .308-caliber rifle and a .22-caliber handgun, were found at the scene and believed to be involved in the shooting, Smith said.
Fort Riley spokeswoman Sam Robinson confirmed that all four soldiers were assigned to the post and were members of the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division.
Werner deployed to Iraq in June with about 800 soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry, which is serving its second tour of duty in Iraq. Robinson said Colvin, Hymer and Stanley were assigned to the unit's rear detachment that remained at Fort Riley. Details about Werner's assignment were not released.
Fort Riley is home to about 10,500 soldiers, of which more than 3,000 are deployed to Iraq.
The soldiers were members of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, which was at the leading edge of the U.S. invasion. Attorneys argued the soldiers suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.