In an upcoming hearing, attorneys on both sides of the case will be able to present new evidence involving an Army Green Beret major charged with murder in the death of an alleged Taliban bombmaker during a 2010 Afghanistan deployment.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer released information Tuesday evening on the scheduling of a motions hearing for Maj. Mathew Golsteyn on Oct. 7 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Golsteyn pleaded not guilty to charges in June. His court-martial is scheduled for Dec. 2.
Trump said he’ll review the case against an Army Green Beret charged with murder. This is what could happen.
The president's tweet could be seen as influencing the case.
The upcoming hearing is regarding “evidentiary matters,” according to the release, but during the hearing both prosecution and defense may present factual evidence and legal arguments.
Golsteyn was charged in December 2018 for the 2010 incident and recalled to active duty status, where he has remained since that time at Fort Bragg.
At the time of the 2010 deployment, Golsteyn was a captain with the 3rd Special Forces Group during some of the heaviest fighting of the war.
Shortly after his December 2018 charging, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would review the major’s case.
“At the request of many, I will be reviewing the case of a ‘U.S. Military hero,’ Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder. He could face the death penalty from our own government after he admitted to killing a Terrorist bomb maker while overseas,” Trump tweeted.
His civilian attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, provided a statement at the time of his client’s not-guilty plea earlier this past summer.
“These allegations were alleged to have taken place almost 10 years ago and were resolved by Lieutenant General Beaudette's predecessor by a board of inquiry wherein the “derogatory activity” was not supported by even a preponderance of the evidence,” Stackhouse wrote.
That refers to a board of inquiry that took place following the deployment in which members did find that Golsteyn may have committed acts that would qualify as “conduct unbecoming” an officer. But they only recommended he be discharged.
“It’s very disappointing the Army would be taking this action now 10 years later in North Carolina when the U.S. Marine Corps Commanders tactically in charge of Major Golsteyn and on the ground in Marjah, Afghanistan at the time of the allegation accepted his decision making and supported his decision making after the allegations and support his decision making today,” he wrote.
In May, the lead investigator against Golsteyn pleaded guilty to stolen valor charges, admitting he had two specifications of violating Article 107, false official statement and three specifications of violating Article 134, wearing of unauthorized insignia, badges and ribbons.
Sgt. 1st Class Mark A. Delacruz wore the Air Assault Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Purple Heart Medal, none of which he had earned. He falsely submitted a Purple Heart in his military file when he turned it in for an E-7 and above promotion board.
For other actions during the deployment, Golsteyn was awarded the Silver Star Medal in 2011, which was under consideration for an upgrade to the Distinguished Service Cross. That upgrade did not go through and the Silver Star was rescinded and commanders stripped him of his Special Forces tab.
At around the time of the medal award, Golsteyn was in the interview process with the CIA. During that job interview he admitted to killing a Taliban bombmaker. Army investigators later opened an investigation and claimed that CIA interviewers told them Golsteyn had admitted to shooting the unarmed bombmaker and that he and two other soldiers retrieved the body and destroyed it in a burn pit on base.
The major denied that account, saying Army investigators took selected portions of a lengthy interview and mischaracterized what was said to fit a version of the story bent on charging him.
Golsteyn previously told Army Times that he killed a bombmaker in an ambush but that it was a lawful action. The alleged bombmaker had been detained and turned over to Afghan authorities but was soon released. He then discovered the identity of a local man who had informed coalition members about the bombmaker’s activities and feared for his life, he said.