Soldier charged again for alleged role in 2006 gang-beating death
June 27, 2007
Army Pvt. Bobby Morrissette has been charged again for his alleged role in the 2005 gang initiation beating death of a fellow soldier.
On Tuesday, Morrissette, 25, was charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, participation in gang initiation rituals, indecent acts, impeding an investigation, impeding trial by court-martial and willfully disobeying an officer, according to an Army news release.
An article 32 hearing has not yet been scheduled for Morrissette, said Denver Makle, a spokeswoman with Joint Multinational Training Command. Morrissette is assigned to the 1st Cargo Transfer Company in Grafenwöhr, Germany.
In October 2006, Morrissette was charged with murder and other related charges in relation to Army Sgt. Juwan Johnson’s death.
Morrissette, who then faced a maximum possible sentence of life in prison without parole, became the first of several Kaiserslautern-area soldiers and airmen charged in Johnson’s death.
Johnson died of multiple blunt force injuries on July 4, 2005, after an alleged initiation ceremony into the Gangster Disciples.
In previous cases, witnesses have testified that as many as 10 former and current soldiers and airmen beat Johnson for six minutes during the initiation near Kaiserslautern, Germany.
In June 2007, Morrissette’s former commanding general dismissed and withdrew all charges against Morrissette to comply with a military judge’s ruling.
The judge disqualified 21st Theater Sustainment Command lawyers and commanders from the case for not following protocol during the investigation into Johnson’s death.
The disqualification surrounded a December 2005 interview of Morrissette in which prosecutors and investigators did not follow proper procedure.
To date, two soldiers and one airman have been convicted in Johnson’s killing, and one soldier was acquitted in the matter last year. Army lawyers who will prosecute Morrissette have attended some of the previous hearings and courts-martial surrounding the Johnson case.
"Military defense attorneys are always detailed for such cases," Makle wrote in an e-mail. "It is unknown at this time whether (Morrissette) will choose to be represented by civilian counsel as well."