Defense: Fort Hood Murder Could Not Have Been Premeditated
The attorneys of a Fort Hood soldier accused of murder say their client cannot be charged with premeditated murder because his blood alcohol levels were too high on the night of the crime.
26-year-old Brett Marvin Wessel, a sergeant in 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, attended a hearing Wednesday intended to determine if he would stand trial on a charge of premeditated murder after allegedly shooting another soldier at a late night party on September 1.
Witnesses testified that Wessel came and went from the party several times before being asked to leave. Wessel, they said, returned to the party sometimes after 3 a.m. and shot former Sgt. Ryan F. Dickinson in the chest. Wessel, according to witness testimony, felt that Dickinson had disrespected him earlier in the evening, and an investigation revealed that Wessel sent his wife a text message reading “I’ll kill him” shortly before the shooting took place. The prosecution argued that the text message and other evidence indicate the attack was premeditated.
However, the defense argued that their client had a blood alcohol level of 0.16 three hours after the shooting - twice the legal limit in Texas. Therefore, they argued, Wessel would have been too intoxicated to premeditate the murder.
The presiding judge did not make any recommendation on what charges Wessel should face, nor whether or not he would face a court-martial. A spokesperson with Fort Hood said a recommendation is expected within a week.