Guns

Army Charges 4 Soldiers with Killing Teen Couple

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Four soldiers now face military charges for the execution-style murders of their former comrade and his 17-year-old girlfriend.

In December the bodies of 19-year-old Michael Roark and his girlfriend Tiffany York were found not far from Fort Stewart in Georgia, where Roark served up until three days before he was killed. They were each shot in the head.

A few days later the four servicemen were arrested and charged in civilian court. But now they face military charges which could carry the death penalty. No decision on that has been made, but Roark's father is pushing for it.

"If we can get the death penalty, let's go for it," said Brett Roark. "This was one cold-blooded execution."

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Army Sgt. Anthony Peden and Pvt. Christopher Salmon both face charges of malice murder. Pfc. Michael Burnett and Pvt. Isaac Aguigui are charged with being party to a murder.

All four served in the 4th Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, the same division as Roark before his discharge.

Neither prosecutors nor military officials have disclosed any motive for the killing, nor will they go into detail about what actually happened. All they will say is that the victims knew the suspects.

It is also not clear why Roark, who enlisted in the Army in March 2010, was discharged. The Army will only say it was not dishonorable.

His father said his son was very eager at first, but after a few months started complaining about problems with his superiors and said he wanted to leave.