FORT LEWIS, Wash. – Army officials have recommended a court-martial for a Purple Heart recipient accused of stabbing his young wife 71 times with knives and a meat cleaver.
Spc. Brandon Bare, 19, of Wilkesboro, N.C., was charged with premeditated murder and indecent acts related to the mutilation of his wife's remains.
On Wednesday, Fort Lewis officials said post commander Lt. Gen. James Dubik agreed with an investigating officer and referred Bare's case to a general court-martial.
Bare remains held in the post's Regional Corrections Facility. No trial date has been set. If found guilty, he faces a maximum of life in prison.
Bare had returned to Fort Lewis from Iraq in April to recuperate from cuts and internal ear injuries in a grenade attack on his Stryker brigade unit in Mosul. He was there as a machine-gunner with the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.
His wife, Nabila Bare, 18, was killed July 12.
"The murder was premeditated, deliberate and savage," prosecutor Capt. Scott DiRocco said in January during Bare's Article 32 hearing, similar to a preliminary hearing in civilian court. "He did not stop after he killed her."
Bare's lawyer said there was nothing to show the killing was planned.
"What this looks like ... is an act of rage, or some sort of other unexplainable act," defense attorney Capt. Patrick O'Brien said.
Witnesses testified that Bare had enrolled in treatment programs for anger management and combat stress after his return from Iraq. He had said he was having trouble controlling his anger and didn't like his wife going out and partying, said Michael Collins, a nurse and case manager at Madigan Army Medical Center.
A day before his wife was found dead in the couple's kitchen, Bare told his rear detachment commander Capt. Mickey Traugutt that he was taking a new prescription that made it hard to get up and that he had missed a treatment.