On Tuesday, a U.S. soldier serving out of Fort Stewart, Georgia was found guilty of killing two of his three roommates while in Iraq in 2010 after he became angry that the three other men let their room get to messy.
Prosecutors said that Spc. Neftaly Platero, opened fire on his roommates, Spc. Jeffrey Shonk, Pfc. Grebrah Noonan and Spc. John Carrillo Jr. in a premeditated attack just hours after he had complained too his roommates about the messy conditions in their living quarters.
In his court-martial a jury took 90 minutes to deliberate on Tuesday to return their verdict in which, Platero was found guilty on two counts of premeditated murder for killing Noonan, and Carrillo Jr. and one count of attempted premeditated murder on Shonk, who survived the attack.
While stationed at Camp Fallujah on September 23rd, 2010, the 34-year-old Platero was accused of shooting his roommates as they prepared for bed. Noonan was fatally shot in the side and the back after having just returned to their room from a shower. While Carrillo Jr. was fatally shot when he was in the room looking through his backpack.
Shonk, who had already been in bed had a bullet strike him in the head, but survived and could not recollect anything about the incident during testimony. But as Staff Sgt. Jhamaal Martin was the first to arrive on the scene after the shooting a still conscious Shonk told him, “Platero shot us.” In all 18 spent bullet casings were found in the living quarters.
Platero’s lawyers argued that Martin’s testimony was a fabrication as medic’s who arrived on the scene soon after, re-called Shonk un-able to speak, as well as their was no forensic evidence to suggest Platero was the shooter, as a skin tissue sample taken from him shortly after was negative for gun powder residue.
The defense also argued that the prosecutions reason for a motive, of Platero being angry with the roommates over a messy room and not wanting to be served with room inspections, was too weak.
In the end, the jury convicted Platero however, and in the sentencing phase of the case, he faces a year in prison without the possibility of parole.