Benjamin Kyle Schweitzer, left, waits alongside his attorney Chase Smith for Judge John H. Gasaway to sentence him for the March 2012 Quicksilver shooting. (Tavia D. Green / The Leaf-Chronicle)
CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — A former soldier got the maximum sentence for killing a fellow 5th Special Forces Group soldier, but with the charge of reckless homicide, it was only four years.
Benjamin Kyle Schweitzer, 28 a former medic, was convicted of reckless homicide and two counts of reckless endangerment following a jury trial for the March 15, 2012, killing of Sgt. 1st Class Frederic “Nic” Moses, who was shot five times inside his Quicksilver Court home. Schweitzer was found guilty of reckless endangerment for shooting Officer James Eure and shooting at Officer Shawn Brown.
Judge John H. Gasaway after deeming Schweitzer a dangerous offender, sentenced him to the maximum four years and ordered it be served consecutive to his misdemeanor convictions. Since Schweitzer had been in jail for more than year at the time of his conviction, Gasaway merged his reckless endangerment convictions and deemed them as time served.
Schweitzer, represented by attorney Chase Smith, did not ask for probation or alternative sentencing.
“I just wanted to say how sorry I am for everything that happened,” Schweitzer said. “Everyone is here today because of me, but one person isn’t here because of me. I will never be able to fix that.
“I became a medic to help people and in the end I couldn’t even help myself and I ended up taking everything,” he said.
“I can’t begin to ask for forgiveness from the loved ones I robbed of Mr. Moses. I don’t even know how you would go about doing that. I just want to say I never thought any of this would happen, and I didn’t want any of this to happen, and I’m sorry. I can’t say that enough.”
Schweitzer testified at his trial that he was under the influence of a strong drug called ketamine, a general anesthesia and sedative that he had researched as a medic. When he thought an intruder was in the home where he was staying as a guest, he came face-to-face with Moses and shot him five times before running to an upstairs bedroom.
After being shot, Moses walked to a neighbor’s home, where he died on the front porch.
Clarksville Police followed Moses’ blood trail back to the house and found Schweitzer barricaded inside.
When they kicked the bedroom door open, Schweitzer shot Eure in the arm. Eure returned fire, and Schweitzer was wounded. Following a multi-hour standoff Schweitzer surrendered.
Schweitzer was originally charged second-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, but a jury convicted him of the lesser included charges.
A sister's sorrow
Elizabeth Moses, the younger sister of Frederic Moses, cried as she read a letter expressing how her brother’s murder affected her life.
“I could write a book of memories and stories of my brief 22 years with Nic on earth. He was truly one in a million. He had an addiction which I admired and strived to become just as infatuated with: Life. My brother was someone who truly seized the day and made the most of every moment he was given on earth,” she said.
“Nic will never have a family of his own, nor will my children know their Uncle Nic when that chapter of my life begins.”
She said her whole family felt a void in their lives from Nic’s violent death.
“I am forever grateful Nic had the strength to cross the street for whatever reason. I believe with his physical strength and stamina he crossed the street with the help of angels so he could see the face of (his neighbor) with his last breath rather than the face of the devil in his own home.”