An Article 32 hearing for a 37-year-old supply sergeant charged with murdering his company commander and operations officer has been set for Monday, officials said Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez, formerly assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 42nd Infantry Division, will face two charges of premeditated murder during proceedings in a military courtroom on a base near Tikrit.

The June 7 incident, which claimed the lives of Capt. Phillip T. Esposito and 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen, was originally described by the military as an indirect-fire attack on Forward Operating Base Danger, headquarters of the New York National Guard division. A few days later, though, the military said it had opened a criminal investigation.

Charges were brought against Martinez on June 15; he has been held in a military confinement facility in Kuwait since then, officials said. The charges came two days after a memorial service in Tikrit for Esposito and Allen.

Military officials have been tight-lipped in offering a motive for the killings, which shook the division because of accusations that one of their own killed two of their officers. Martinez, 37, from Troy, N.Y., joined the National Guard in 1990 and deployed to Iraq in May 2004, according to military records. He is married and has two children. If convicted, he could face a range of punishments, up to the death penalty.

“This is the type of situation that just doesn’t go away,” Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Fearnside, the division’s ranking enlisted soldier, told Stars and Stripes three weeks after the incident.

But soldiers throughout the division also said they had refocused on their operations in a region that, as Saddam Hussein’s ancestral home, still harbors its share of insurgents.

The case has widely been referred to as the first incidence in Iraq of “fragging,” military slang for the deliberate killing of a soldier’s own superior officers. But members of the division have bristled at the term, preferring instead to simply call it “murder.”

Esposito, 30, had been company commander for over a year. Allen, 34, had arrived in Iraq just four days before he died. He had volunteered to come over and help this specific company, division soldiers said.

In interviews earlier this summer, several 42nd ID soldiers said they hoped the criminal charges would answer two standing questions: Why did it happen, and what will be the outcome?

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