Texas man sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing Fort Hood soldier
Stars and Stripes March 27, 2023
AUSTIN, Texas — A 31-year-old man was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to shooting and killing a Fort Hood soldier nearly three years ago, according to Texas court documents.
Brandon Olivares admitted last month to killing Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans on May 18, 2020, in Harker Heights, a small town near the central Texas Army base. He was sentenced Friday in Bell County.
Rosecrans was found unresponsive from a gunshot wound at about 10:17 a.m. in the 2100 block of Fuller Lane in Harker Heights, according to local police. Investigators determined Olivares was in a vehicle with Rosecrans that morning when he shot the soldier and left him “in an area adjacent to the roadway,” police reported.
Minutes after police were called about Rosecrans’s body being found in the residential area, fire officials were notified of a burning vehicle on the 2500 block of Jubilation Drive, a residential street about 4 miles from Fuller Lane.
The vehicle, an orange 2016 Jeep Renegade, belonged to Rosecrans, police said.
In addition to a charge of murder, Olivares, a Killeen resident, also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He received a 10-year sentence for that charge, which he will serve concurrently.
As part of the plea agreement, Bell County Judge Paul LePak could have sentenced Olivares to prison for up to 42 years.
Rosecrans, who is from Kimberling City, Mo., entered the Army in May 2018 as a quartermaster and chemical equipment repairer and had been assigned to the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since November 2018, according to Fort Hood officials.
His death was among a string of five homicides at Fort Hood that occurred in early 2020, including the death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen. She was killed on base April 22, 2020, by a fellow soldier who later shot himself dead when confronted by police.
Only one case from 2020 remains unsolved or without a conviction.
Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales was last seen Aug. 19, 2019, driving in Killeen, according to the Army Criminal Investigation Division. His remains were found in a field in Killeen in June 2020. Investigators are offering $50,000 for information about his death.