The formal arraignment of a soldier stationed at Fort Leonard Wood accused of killing a fellow soldiers wife was over in a matter of minutes.
Tiffany Wood spokeswoman for the post says the hearing for Spc. Jermaine Johnson lasted about 10 minutes.
Johnson is accused of killing Myria Silva last October after he became irate when another man texted the woman while they were having sex.
Silva, 23, was the spouse of Pfc. Benjamin Silva, who is assigned to the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood and was deployed to Iraq at the time of his wife's murder.
Prosecutors say that Johnson beat Myria up and told her he would take her to the hospital.
Investigators say that instead of taking Silva to the hospital he took the young mother of two on a rambling car ride, slit her throat and then dumped her body in an abandoned farmhouse near Niangua.
The charges against Johnson include:
•Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 107 – Intent to deceive or provide false statements
•UCMJ, Article 118 – Premeditated Murder
•UCMJ, Article 125 – One specification of sodomy against Myria Silva
•UCMJ, Article 128 – One specification of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm against Myria Silva
•UCMJ, Article 134 – One specification of adultery; one specification of kidnapping; and one specification of obstructing justice.
When Johnson was first charged with Silva's murder the death penalty was an option in the case, however, prosecutors now say they will not persue the DP.
If Johnson is convicted of all charges, the maximum punishment is life in prison without parole.
On the advice of his attorney's, Spc. Johnson deferred entering a plea.
What that means is that it gives Johnson and his attorney's a little longer to decide how they want to proceed to trial, and preserves any and all motions available to him under the military court.
If they decide they want a judge to hear the case, Colonel Charles Hayes will be the sitting judge. If they decide they want a panel of Johnson's peers to hear the case then a jury of his peers will be assembled.
Johnson, an Army reservist with the 7223 Medical Support Detachment 10 from Mobile, Ala., was serving in Fort Leonard Wood’s General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital as a health care specialist.
Johnson's trial is scheduled to begin on May 18th at the post and is scheduled to last two days. However, I have been told by sources close to the case that Spc. Johnson is expected to plead guilty before the trial begins.