DynCorp contractor pleads guilty in Kandahar stabbing
April 13, 2011
This story has been corrected
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A U.S. Army contractor pleaded guilty Tuesday to assault for stabbing another contractor with a knife at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release.
Sean T. Brehm, 44, of Capetown, South Africa, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. At sentencing, scheduled for July 8, Brehm faces up to 10 years in prison.
According to court documents, the stabbing took place on Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Day. Brehm was working as a contractor for DynCorp International LLC, a U.S. Army contractor.
Brehm was working at the air terminal when he got into an argument with a British citizen who was working for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
According to court documents, Brehm “viciously stabbed another U.S. contractor in a public (and bloody) spectacle which ultimately involved numerous U.S. military and DOD contractor personnel.” The victim suffered serious bodily injury and needed emergency surgery.
An Army Criminal Investigation Command agent was at the airport working on another case and witnessed the stabbing. The agent drew his gun and ordered the defendant to drop the knife, the court documents say.
The victim’s American wife, also a DynCorp contractor traveling through the terminal, witnessed the stabbing.
Capt. Aimee M. Bateman, chief of military justice for Regional Command-South and the 10th Mountain Division, said such violence is rare at Kandahar.
“Nearly 30,000 individuals live on Kandahar Airfield, to include servicemembers and civilians,” Bateman wrote in an email. “In the last six months, there has only been one other aggravated assault that resulted in serious bodily injury” that assault involved servicemembers, and was handled under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, she said.
“We do have one pending murder and one pending homicide case that involve ISAF personnel,” Bateman wrote, “but these crimes did not occur on KAF.” Because the investigations are ongoing, she could offer no more detail.
Brehm was charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which gives U.S. courts jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed outside the United States by, among others, contractors or subcontractors of the Department of Defense.
CorrectionThe article should have said that the victim’s wife witnessed the aftermath of the stabbing, and not the incident itself.