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Ft. Bragg Evaluates String of Killings

July 27, 2002|From Associated Press

FT. BRAGG, N.C. — Four Army wives at Ft. Bragg have been killed over the last six weeks, allegedly by their husbands, prompting the Army to announce Friday it will reevaluate the base's family counseling program.

"It's mind-boggling," said Henry Berry, manager of family advocacy programs at Ft. Bragg. "To be absolutely honest, I was completely caught off guard. We're going to look at these cases to prevent them from happening in the future."

Two Ft. Bragg soldiers killed their wives in murder-suicides, and two others were charged with murdering their wives. Three of the soldiers were from the Army's Special Operations and had just returned from Afghanistan; the fourth was from an airborne unit and had not been sent into action.

Until the recent murders, base officials said no domestic abuse deaths involving base personnel had occurred in the last two years.

The string of family deaths, none of which occurred on the base, started June 11 when Sgt. 1st Class Rigoberto Nieves fatally shot his wife, Teresa, and himself in their Fayetteville bedroom. Nieves had recently requested leave to resolve personal problems, officials said.

Sheriff's investigators said Jennifer Wright was strangled June 29. Her husband, Master Sgt. William Wright, reported her missing two days later. On July 19, he led investigators to her body, buried in a field near Fayetteville, and was charged with murder.

On the day Wright was arrested, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Floyd shot his wife, Andrea, then killed himself in their Stedman home.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that Floyd was a member of Delta Force, the anti-terrorism unit based at Ft. Bragg.

Sgt. Cedric Ramon Griffin was charged with stabbing his estranged wife, Marilyn, at least 50 times and setting her home on fire July 9. Griffin was in an engineering battalion.

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