Soldier charged in fatal Christmas shooting waives hearing

Casey Grove

A Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldier charged in the Christmas Day shooting death of another soldier has waived his right to challenge evidence against him in a preliminary hearing.

Spc. Marshall Drake, 23, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide and failure to obey regulations in the death of Pfc. Grant Wise, 25. Wise was found dead in a barracks room early Dec. 25.

In a January statement, JBER public affairs officials said Drake shot Wise, failed to properly store his personal firearm and failed to register the gun with the Army. Base officials have refused to comment on specifically what Drake did to garner the charges.

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Drake was entitled to what's called an Article 32 hearing, during which a prosecutor lays out the charging evidence and Drake's lawyer is allowed to challenge the evidence, said JBER Media Relations Chief John Pennell. An investigating officer would then decide whether or not to forward the case to a court martial hearing, Pennell said.

But Drake waived his right to the Article 32 hearing, Pennell said Wednesday. The hearing had been set for Thursday morning. Now the investigating officer will make his or her decision independent of the hearing, Pennell said.

Both Drake and Wise were assigned to the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.


Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.