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The Army Criminal Investigation Division at Fort Hood, Texas, is the lead agency investigating a series of cases at the base that led to a sergeant being charged Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, with counts of attempted murder, rape and kidnapping. 

The Army Criminal Investigation Division at Fort Hood, Texas, is the lead agency investigating a series of cases at the base that led to a sergeant being charged Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, with counts of attempted murder, rape and kidnapping.  (U.S. Army)

AUSTIN, Texas — A 29-year-old sergeant at Fort Hood was charged Tuesday with multiple counts of premeditated attempted murder, rape, kidnapping and burglary in connection to an Oct. 2 incident in the barracks that involved a gun and was thought to be connected to other violent assaults on base, officials at the Texas Army post said.

The name of the soldier, who is assigned to the 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade was not released Wednesday because the charges against the soldier have not yet been referred to a court-martial, according to a statement issued by Fort Hood officials. An arraignment has not been scheduled.

The charges include two counts of attempted premeditated murder, two counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, five counts of burglary, five counts of aggravated assault, four counts of kidnapping and two counts of robbery, among other charges, Fort Hood officials said.

A charge sheet describing the different counts, which are known in the military as specifications, is typically released following an arraignment. It is similar to an arrest affidavit, which is released following an arraignment in the civilian court system.

The sergeant was arrested Oct. 2 while entering a gate at Fort Hood and is being held in pre-trial confinement, Maria Thomas, the special agent-in-charge of the Army Criminal Investigation Division’s central Texas field office, said this month. The office is the lead investigation agency on the case.

Earlier that day, soldiers living near the intersection of Legends Way and 37th Street at Fort Hood had received a text message alert warning them to stay away from the area because a man with a gun had been seen. Another alert told them it was safe to return less than two hours later.

CID investigators and Fort Hood officials have not said what happened during that time. They also have not provided any further details about the charges against the sergeant.

However, investigators first noticed in July commonalities among unresolved cases at Fort Hood but couldn’t definitively link the crimes at the time, according to a statement from CID. At the time of the sergeant’s arrest, investigators said they believed he could be connected to other unsolved cases at the central Texas base.

Army CID began to overhaul its operations at Fort Hood following the disappearance and death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen in April 2020. Investigators have said she was killed at Fort Hood by a fellow soldier and then buried near a river outside of the base.

After her death, the Army launched an external review of Fort Hood. The Fort Hood Independent Review Committee released its report in December 2020 with 70 recommendations to improve conditions for soldiers at the base, including better equipping and training criminal investigators at the base.

It also called for more civilian investigators, which has included the hiring of Thomas, who took to lead of the CID office at Fort Hood in April.

Lt. Gen. Sean Bernabe, who took command of Fort Hood this month, credited those changes to helping arrest the sergeant.

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Rose L. Thayer is based in Austin, Texas, and she has been covering the western region of the continental U.S. for Stars and Stripes since 2018. Before that she was a reporter for Killeen Daily Herald and a freelance journalist for publications including The Alcalde, Texas Highways and the Austin American-Statesman. She is the spouse of an Army veteran and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism. Her awards include a 2021 Society of Professional Journalists Washington Dateline Award and an Honorable Mention from the Military Reporters and Editors Association for her coverage of crime at Fort Hood.

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